Journey of 1000 Miles



“- sandwiches!” I finish exclaiming as I flash back into Eva’s kitchen.

My cool points were pretty far gone after I lost my temper and realized my girlfriend was stranded in the kitchen with a couple of strangers and an absent-memory Eva. I was partially hoping my absence was, for the most part, unnoticed.

I may have gotten away with any slip like that if I had a normal girlfriend. Mo took one look at me and immediately sensed my apology. She smirks in the way she does when she wants to call me an idiot while saying she loves me at the same time.

“Sorry, about that,” I announce.

“My little hot head,” Mo chirps. “Now, before you decide to poof into thin air again, why don’t we hear what’s left to be said. Then, you can go play Houdini.” She somehow makes her eyes larger and more adorable when talking down to me. My mind won’t allow me to get upset with her even when I know she’s trying to get under my skin.

Instead, I concentrate on the largest one-handed spank I can fathom and push the thought over to her. With that, her eyebrows arch and a small foxlike grin draws across her soft lips.

“I think we might just need to go there, see if we can help,” I clarify through my own smile. “Unless there is something else you needed to add,” I open the question up to Rook and Junk.

“Well,” Rook began, “I was going to say how I think there is still someone on the inside working with the Pirates at the Orphanage. And that is how they found us or David more precisely.”

A small trickling wave of panic flutters across my skin as if all the windows suddenly opened during winter. My skepticism has me second guessing whether I should have trusted this brother/sister combo.

Mo picked up on my apprehension. I never fully shield myself from her. Keeping my mind open to her is more of a reflex, like breathing without thinking. She knows I regret my impetuous flash back to Lincoln Square as well as doubts about our guests.

Mo and I had spent our free time pushing the limits of our abilities outside of the city limits. There was a clearing in the country we go to for our “danger training” as she calls it. We also go to crowded malls or events to work on Mo’s ability to sly.

Long montage short, we have had some epic failures and even greater successes. Over the past month, she perfected the ability to dive into people’s thoughts the way a dolphin navigates the ocean surface. At times, she is able to split her concentration and accept thought simultaneously from two different people. Most importantly, they have no idea she is there. My little memory cat burglar.

Rook explains how after David fell into his spell, over half of the troubled kids he was working with left. While she spoke, I sense Mo dipping into the minds of both siblings. Rook finishes detailing her list of suspects as Mo kicks the thought over to me that they were both okay to be trusted. At least that was a load off.

“Who can we absolutely trust from Lincoln?” I ask.

“Aria has been by David’s side since we left. Benny has worked closely with him and is loyal. Jenni and David have been close; I think they are dating outside of the Orphanage.”

The idea of David with someone is disturbing on forty different levels. Mostly, I’m thinking he’s dating a teenager like me. Also, what in the hell happens if he had a child? My great grandson might be the same age as my son? Yeah, that’s where my brain engine took me. The caboose has much worse thoughts, and I’ll leave it at that.

“Jenni?” I wonder aloud.

Junk decides to snap out of his ADHD for a few moments, “She’s one of the adults that came in with her daughter, Aria. She can do cool things with her claps.”

Avoid thinking there is an innuendo there and stop smirking, Carter. “And where is she now?” I manage to force out before Mo elbows me in the side, only stoking the giggle embers into a larger chuckle flame.

“She was infuriated,” Rook takes the attention off my disposition to think juvenilely. “She took off and told Aria to keep an eye on David. I think she was trying to hunt those three down that put him under that spell.”

“What can she do?” Mo interjects.

Rook takes a reluctant breath before explaining, “When Jenni makes a loud clap she can disappear. When Jenni claps loudly enough, she hurts people,” after a dramatic pause, “badly.”

Trying to imagine what causes an ability to act like it does is like putting blue paint on a pallet, then adding a blob of white and black and guessing how many combinations of color they could make. On occasion, the limitations can be narrowed down to being a Leaper or an Eventual.

“Any ideas how?”

“I’m not the expert like David. He has a knack for knowing how one of us works. He managed to get this idiot under control pretty quickly,” she thumbs over to her brother who was drumming a beat out on his lap with his fingers.

“You mentioned she could hurt people badly. Did you see her do something to someone?” Mo empathetically pries.

Looking at the two side by side, it was difficult not appreciating their differences while simultaneously enjoying the contrasts to their individual beauty. Mo, shorter than Rook by almost a foot, had curves any man only hopes to traverse the entirety of someday. Her almond shaped eyes accentuate the sultry fire ablaze behind them. People think she has a nano-modifier that alters eye, hair, skin and nail color. Her eyes were an almost pale brown and shone like honey in the sunlight.

“Nothing I want to talk about, let alone remember,” Rook reluctantly admits.

Rook was very tall and had legs that made it almost impossible to concentrate as they accentuated her every move like she was dancing instead of walking. Her long curls bounce even when she stands still around her flawless skin. No blemish of any kind stood out as if she were made from porcelain instead of flesh. To punctuate her beauty, her mouth makes little motions accompanied with her smile. Someone would hopefully love her enough somewhere in life to understand the infinite combinations they create.

Mo shuffles closer to her and puts her hand out, palm up. “You won’t need words.”

Trusting in Mo’s expression, Rook extends her hand and places her own palm atop Mo’s soft pink one below. “Just remember for me. I can do the rest,” Mo confides.

While Rook closes her eyes, Mo extends her hand to me in order to allow me to experience it as well. As the three of us touch, I feel the pull. My mind feels like a huge piece of metal and Rook’s memories are like tiny magnets trying to stick to me. Mo filters only the ones she wants me to see.

We all relive what Rook had seen. It was a month after they arrived at the Orphanage. Overwhelmed, confused and consistently paranoid were the general emotions of any new Orphan, but those began winding down for most. They slept easier and David was helping them keep their abilities under control. Slowly they were starting to feel safe.

It was shortly after that when a couple of Orphans started feeling a little too much at home. In fact, when David wasn’t around, they appointed themselves in charge and thought everyone was an object of theirs to do with as they pleased like remote controls waiting for their buttons to be pushed.

The two older men had been developing and crafting their abilities for years. One could use his telekinesis to hold people down or away from him and the other could wipe away memories. In this sick world, there are some people who should never exist. Like demons or dragons from stories, their kind should have died out ages ago.

They made their way around to a few of the women in the Orphanage, younger girls and those not equipped to defend themselves. David was oblivious as his hands were full running out of a couple different locations since one could no longer suffice. He didn’t visit much because it appeared everything there was okay.

Jenni and her daughter Aria had been around since Rook and her brother. They never spoke much as most newcomers were introverted as well. One of the men appeared to be fond of Aria, who was around Junk’s age. Rook didn’t see much except for one of the men picking Aria up off the floor as she held still in midair. It looked like he was carrying a mannequin around a department store. When Jenni saw, she sprinted through the doors after them.

Rook was just across the hall and could see small glimpses of what was transpiring on the other side. The swinging doors pushed in and out on a double hinge and when Jenni bolted through, they teetered back and forth. On one pass she saw Jenni reaching past one of the men for her daughter. On the way back she was being pushed. On the next swing, less of the room was visible but one of the men was reaching back to hit Jenni. Another pass and the crack of his palm swept her face. Jenni flew back, landing on the unforgiving concrete floor.

The next pass showed less, but enough to see the way feet were tangled as one of the men was on top of Aria and wrestling with her clothing. On the next pass Rook absently glanced around to see if someone nearby might be able to help. And as she heard Jenni bring her hands together, the door opened to show a body implode. Not explode into bits, but fold up like he was being crumpled from a sheet of paper into a wad of trash. Imagery of blood hung in a fine mist and reminds me of Principal Uzman from months ago.

The last pass of the door showed almost nothing, but a man screamed and a thunderous clap followed. After that, his scream gurgled briefly and was no more. Then tears of joy as well as sadness erupted within the closed room. Rook sent her brother to go and find David and bring him back. As she made her way to the door, she knew she shouldn’t open it, yet something made her think it wasn’t going to be as bad as she envisioned.

Sadly, it was worse. A red hue clung to the ceiling, walls and floor. Vapors of blood draped the air in the non-ventilated room as Jenni and Aria clung to each other without another care in the world. Needless to say, David helped to bring them out of the room. He also cleaned it and made sure to find a new location as that building would never house an Orphan again.

As we let go of the memory, the images remain as well as the emotions. Rook has a small stream of sadness trailing down her cheeks. It was not easy to watch, but there’s now an idea of what Jenni is capable of doing. Her absence is neither positive or negative yet, but the fact her daughter is still there leads me in the plus category.

The long silence seems to raise Eva’s curiosity from cleaning up the kitchen. I notice her look over and as much as I could see her want to ask a question, she instead announces that she was going to check on Scarlett and leave us to our plotting. Eva knows we’ll be fine and has grown to trust our judgment.

“We should get to David soon,” I emphasize. “I left there about as soon as I arrived and if there is a spy, it won’t be long before word gets out.”

Nods from the group have me preparing to attempt this mass flash. I’ve transported some hefty things in the course of my teleportation training, but three other individuals will be a first.

I reach out and clasp Mo’s gentle hand within mine and smile an I love you at her. Extending my other hand, I signal the others to join in.

“Wait, will this hurt?” Rook timidly asks before relinquishing her hand.

“Like a mother,” I jest. The terror in her eyes makes me recant, “I’m just kidding. You won’t feel any pain, unless I sneeze or something, then I have no clue what that’ll do.”

She purses her lips in angst and just closes her eyes and extends her arm like a kid succumbing to the inevitability of a shot at the doctor’s office. Mo takes Junk by the hand and as we all chain together, I siphon from Mo and build up strength and concentration.

As an added bit of fun at Rook’s expense, before we flash, I wince and twist my face into a scrunch while taking a couple of deep, yet short breaths in the motion of a sneeze. “Ah, ah…” I feel her hand squirm as I clutch onto it tighter.

On the final achoo I flash us to the Orphanage in Lincoln Square. Anyone within earshot must have thought the floor dropped out beneath Rook’s feet as she screams upon our arrival. And she didn’t stop until I shook her hand letting her know we arrived.

“Sorry,” I admit, “just a little time traveler humor.” I think if she didn’t like me as she does, her slap might have landed full force on the side of my face instead of the meat of my arm. I laugh it off and as much as she tries to stay upset, the smile in her voice comes through as she calls me a jerk.

“Classic,” Mo chimes in.

A small huddle of Orphans starts to collect around us. There are a few familiar faces within the crowd, but most of them are fresh to me. Close to a dozen people stay at the Orphanage. Most that show up have been kicked from their homes. Others were looking for answers since the Academy was gone and the next closest one was about 800 miles northeast in Bottle Bay.

The wondering eyes looking at us are desperate for answers and I’m curious as to why. My own questions will have to supersede theirs for the time being.

“Where is David?” I ask the group.

A couple of hands point the way to a room across from us. As we make our way there, a set of doors similar to the ones from Rook’s memory swing open and a young girl in a long, thick braid of hair comes through and her face lightens up the room.

“Rook!” Aria screams mid-run then gives her a hug. “It’s been weeks, I was getting nervous.” A couple of weeks?

“Well, it’s a little more difficult to get to the west coast from midland than I had hoped. Our money almost ran out in Jefferson Pointe because someone decided to buy groceries consisting of cookies, cereal and junk food instead of our Intra-line tickets.”

A chuckle emerges from Rook’s brother, “Junk – food.” He smiles then goes on embracing his new nickname.

“Aria,” Rook turns to announce us, “this is Carter and –”

“Mo!” the young lady bursts out. “Oh, I know all about you both. David tells me such interesting stories about the two of you.”

As Mo and I display curious looks I have to ask, “Is David awake?”

“Aria has the ability to communicate telepathically, but only when someone is asleep or unconscious.” Rook explains. “She’s the reason we knew to look for you both and where to start.”

“I thought you had a hunch?” Junk stares down his sister with some kind of contempt.

“And I thought you knew the difference when I used these,” she states while doing air quotes. Yeah, they aren’t growing on me. Why do air quotes bug me so much?

“Come on,” Aria sings while motioning us to follow her. “David will want to know you’re here.”

We begin to follow behind Aria’s airy walk toward the door where David is resting. My gut feels like I have a knot tightening somewhere down below my stomach and a small nauseous feeling sweeps under my skin. I look over my shoulder thinking someone has called my name.

In the crowd, I see him. The discoloration from healthy skin to scars crisscrossed along his face in an X and his wide maniacal grin shines brightly against the shadowy contrast.

“You bastard!” I flash directly in front of him and clasp a hand firmly around his windpipe. He outweighs me by at least twenty-five pounds of muscle and despite my desire to simply dismantle him, I wasn’t about to scar any impressionable young minds looking on.

“Carter!” I hear Mo protesting.

“What did you do to David!!” the pressure I cause in my voice squeezes the blood through my veins and I don’t even know if those words are audible as I growl more than I ask.

“Carter,” Lord Ray says in a pleasant tone while never losing his smile or taking notice that my fingers are sinking deeper into his throat. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you weren’t pleased to see me.”

“Carter! Stop!!” Mo yells from behind. I’m not sure if she thinks I’m going to kill him or that he even has a chance of getting the better of me. The panic in her voice will have to be ignored for the moment.

My teeth grind together as I have too much fury I’m retraining to even open my mouth as I warn him, “the only reason I’m not atomizing you right now is for the sake of the children around me, so before I lose more patience, tell me what you did to David!”

Lord’s expression never changes from pure delight no matter how I squeeze. “Carter, I just wanted to show up to let you know this is just the beginning. Have fun trying to choke a solution out of me. I’m guessing David dies before you get it out of me.”

I hear Mo directly behind me as I release a war cry attempting one more surge of strength to throttle a response from him.

Mo is in my peripheral and I feel her grab into the crook of my arm and yank me apart from Ray. My frustration knows no bounds at this point as I see him standing there with a smile coaxing me to try again.

“Carter!!” she screams. I finally break my infuriating stare from Ray and see the worry from the glossy eyes looking up at me. Instead of saying any more, she embraces me as my vision goes from blinding fury to confusion.

I hear a coughing and gasping for air somewhere in the crowd as Mo squeezes me once more and then backs away. “What just happened to you?”

To me? “What? You can’t blame me for reacting after seeing him right there, can you?!”

I motion back to the smiling Cheshire cat I was pulled from, only he has vanished. Instead, there is a small huddle around a younger teenager crumpled on the floor fighting to escape pain and find air for his deprived lungs.

“Carter, you just took off and started choking that kid,” Mo explains. “I was so frightened. I couldn’t tell what was going on. I couldn’t hear your thoughts. It was like someone cut you off from me.”

As terrified sets of eyes look back at me from the crowd, my heart fills to the brim with apologies and regret. It gets so full, I fight back letting them pour out from the only place they try to exit, in my tears.

“But he was here. Lord Ray was just here.” What just happened? What did I almost do?

Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read any of these sample chapters! I hope I have tantalized you enough to want to read on. Please feel free to encourage me with comments and likes… or tell me how to become better!

On to the next sample…

Journey of 1000 Miles

Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth


Now, I handled things very calmly. Maybe a little too calmly. All things considered in my past, a grandson in a state of unconsciousness is rather small on the scale of freak-outs. I calmly made the peppermint mocha for Junk, even upsized him and gave a little whipped cream and chocolate shavings. No cost.

“So, what was that again?” I said as I place the beverage before him.

“He won’t wake up,” Junk calmly stated while staring into the coffee beverage like a man seeing water after coming out of the desert.

“Because of Pirates?” I clarify.


“And you’re here because…?”

“Isn’t he your teacher or sensei or whatever?” The ‘whatever’ got muffled as the whipped cream engulfed his mouth and he nearly fell into the cup. As he lowered from his first large gulp, a pristine mustache was the only remainder and he had no recollection it was there.

“He means a lot more than that to me,” I admitted. “I should ask, who is watching him if you’re here?”

“Oh, I think Aria is sitting with him.”

Granted, I never really got to know any of the orphans, as Mo and I call them, but I don’t think I’d remember any of them if I saw them again. As I began wondering just how many kids David had taken under his wing, Junk began gulping the rather hot latte as if it was water. He seemed rather high strung to begin with, I’m not sure liquid jitters was the best medicine.

“Junk, you came out here over a thousand miles on your own?”

He swallowed the last remaining drops in his cup before answering. “No, my sister is here too. She drove us from Lincoln.”

And as if he had signaled a cue to walk in the room, the door chimed and in she came. Already, I know I am going to get into trouble with Mo later because this was not someone who goes unnoticed. She was tall, had long red hair and even longer legs. The curls in her hair elongated with each step and then snapped back into place showing her movement and gave another emphasis to watch. As slender as she was, she seemed to command her legs to move and plant themselves with a force I could almost feel across the room.

My main goal right now was to try and find as many flaws about her to remember so when Mo meets her for the first time, she doesn’t immediately question my loyalties. So, far, I am unfortunately finding none.

“Dude, what in the hell?” she asked while surveying the bodies lying in heaps around her. Another minus for me, her voice was strikingly similar to Mo’s except for the slight emphasis on her L’s. Maybe that could become annoying?

“What?” Junk asks while trying to finger the whipped cream out of the bottom of the cup that hadn’t been given the time to melt yet.

“Oh, Jesus-fish. Tell me that is hot cocoa,” this time she is addressing me with the statement / rhetorical question. Then I start to actually feel as if I had done something wrong.

“Is he going to turn into a Gremlin soon?” I said in dry sarcasm.

To my surprise, she actually smiled. “Not unless it’s after midnight.”

Well, crap. This girl is really making me nervous now. She understood a historical movie reference and has a smile that could melt butter in a cold pan.

“Is he allergic to coffee?” I skip the ogling in order to not find this girl any more attractive.

A strange twist on her face rested somewhere between apologetic and frightened. “Not exactly. For whatever reason, large amounts of caffeine tend to make my brother a little…unstable?” As my brain tries to formulate an unstable Junk running around, she decides to clarify. “His ability is enhanced.”

Enhanced? “Enhanced?” Yeah, I repeated it.

“Well, you see what he can do when he shushes people. If he did it again, they’d be asleep probably until the weekend. And they don’t wake up until it’s over.”

I’m failing to see the evil behind it or the danger. As my confusion portrays through my expression, she adds, “Junction’s ability is triggered by the way ties the ‘sh’ sound together. Most of the time he has to concentrate and then it releases the subconscious dam he has blocking the telekinetic part of his brain. With coffee or soda, any word with those sound combinations will trigger it automatically.”

Okay, the cogs were turning now. If Junk gets in a Tourette’s attack and starts yelling shit a bunch, people will start taking naps. My curiosity has to ask a few things, some of which being, “What’s your name?”

Her smile returns as she answers, “I’m Rook. You’ve met Junction. And you’re Carter, right?”

“Yeah,” I’m really wondering how they got their names now.

Junk is busy licking the porcelain off the inside of the cup, but he raises his hand up as another hello.

Rook starts to take notice of the time by swinging out an old fashioned conductors watch from her pocket. The action made me wonder what time it was also. Junk said the patrons and bullies would be out for around 10 minutes and I had a feeling the time was drawing near.

“We should set these guys up at a table or something before they are fully awake,” Rook states while simultaneously looking around for an empty table.

Now, the next thing I did was not really out of necessity, although I could later justify it as one. I teleported or flashed, as we call it, out from behind the counter to where the pile of bullies was heaped. I laid one hand on the top person of the dog pile and flashed him over to a table close by. I proceeded to do so with the remaining three mongoloids and each one landed with a forceful impact as their rears hit the chairs and their faces hit the table. Not my most graceful flash, but I haven’t had a lot of opportunity or freedom to do so in the past months.

“Wow, that was like the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time,” Rook admits as she looks at me like a celebrity. Which, sadly I was going for in some way. Impressing her was not really something I needed to or should have done, but I guess it was my way of breaking the ice.

Then it donned on me, Ally was still in a heap somewhere in the back room. “Crap sandwiches!” I exclaim as my own personal Eureeka! while making my way to her. As I open the swinging doors and witness the destruction of cups sprinkled around in little bits of porcelain confetti outlining Ally’s sleeping body.

Now, putting those ruffians at a table was one thing to shrug off, the expensive devastation and co-worker was totally something different. Before I could say anything, Rook was standing behind me looking over my shoulder. I wasn’t sure what her perfume was, but it was tempting me to inhale it deeply and I fought against the desire to do so by remembering the wonderful woman of mine working at my dream job this very moment.

“You have a spot back here that you can prop her on?”

I looked over at the pile of large economy coffee sacks we have stacked in the corner. I place a hand on her and flash her to the corner, much more gently than the previous persons. The only thing now concerning me was the cups.

“Ally is going to get blamed for this, even if we clean it up,” I said aloud more as a white flag of defeat.

A small smirk from Rook and she pushed up the sleeves on her designer shirt as if she were ready to get some serious work done. She picked up an unbroken cup that made it through the crash unscathed and rotated it around like she was looking for a price tag. She placed the cup in her left hand while seeming to aim her middle finger and thumb together at the debris below.


In the blink of my eye, all of the broken pieces reassembled and formed back into perfect little mugs. My mouth stayed open enough to fit a small bite of food in while I admired the creationism.

“Neat huh?” Rook asked.

Took the words right out of my mouth.

See?! No April Fool’s. Check back next Tuesday for more Carter and the gang!

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Journey of 1000 Miles

If It Just Wasn’t So Damn Sad


{SPOILER ALERT – Go here to read the story before this story. You can thank me later by telling all of your friends}

In the aftermath of action movies, you know what they never show you? Assimilating back into “real life” and picking up some sort of normalcy. You know why they don’t show you that? It is boring as hell.

What happened after the party on Endor in Return of the Jedi? Or the day after Indiana Jones finds the artifact and gets the damsel? They go into another adventure because anything else would spiral them into perpetual boredom.

And that is where I am; stuck in a tailspin after looking for a spot to land. My current vortex is located up the West Coast, pretty close to nothing resembling Lincoln Center where I am from. This little burg is called Temple Falls with roughly a quarter of the population I’m used to which has its pros and cons.

Pro, it’s scenic with lots of trees. The air smells like is always rain in it. No one is trying to scoop me up to join a government agency to use my powers of time travel, teleportation and telekinesis. So those are all good things.

The cons are basically everything else. The people here are a friendly combination of weird and polite I’m not used to. There’s nothing to do besides work because I am no longer allowed to go to school. Dismantling your former principal atom by atom, even though he was trying to kill you, has its drawbacks. I also am forbidden, yes forbidden, to engage in any activity which could get me noticed. All of the things the government agency wants from me (i.e. the fun things), yup, can’t do them.

So, I’m like a classic muscle car, all gassed up and ready for the road. Just happens my keys have been taken away. It’s a damn shame, that’s what that is.

One huge plus, my girlfriend, Mo, is living with me. No, not in the same room. We are living with an old friend of my parents, Eva, along with her young daughter, Scarlett. She has agreed to give us shelter as long as we need. I was told no funny business by both my Dad and Eva. The term “funny business” seems to have a loose definition in my vocabulary. Either way, I am respectful to Eva and starting to love little Scarlett. Mo tries not to be jealous, but that soon to be 4-year old is wrapping me around her finger on a daily basis.

Mo and I are home schooled in order to have the basic high school degree. In the future, we are hoping there is enough time to let the dust settle from Lincoln Center and we can attend college a year later.

For now, I have a part time job as a barista for a local coffee shop. Mo landed a far superior job in a movie theater, which plays, of all things, classic movies from the pre-2000 era. I mean, how did I not get that job?! Oh yeah, Mo said it was in my wheelhouse too much and it was necessary to work somewhere outside our comfort zones. She slipped the manager a little mind note to get the position and make certain I was never hired.

Regardless, I get to come in on my off days and watch movies for free. At my position at the Golden Bean, yes that’s the name they chose, I have a musky aroma after every shift. What’s sad is I used to like coffee and now, I have a fond distaste.

Oh, did I mention I have a bully? I know what you’re thinking, how?! Well, as it turns out, the store owner’s son was walking in as I was walking out of the shop during my interview. The door hit the phone out of his hand and as I went to pick it up and hand it back to him, he says, “Jesus, watch where you’re stomping around, doofus.”

“What was that, good sir?” I somewhat remember saying.

“I said pay attention! What are you, deaf?”

“My apologies,” I think I stated. Okay, maybe I was not quite as cordial. Because somewhere amongst handing the guy his phone back, it somehow landed in the middle of traffic. Weird, right?

Well, however slight of hand my magic teleportation was, this guy, Eric, assumes I simply launched it behind me. As crude of an insult that was, it was for the better. I didn’t need the attention. As he twists a knot in the front of my shirt to draw me in for a large fist to my face, his dad, my new boss, comes out and tells him to stop making trouble, especially with his new employee.

Signed, sealed and delivered. This guy now had all of the time in the world to harass me. And if it wasn’t for the lack of jobs and the inability of my girlfriend to help me land something better, I would not be getting terrorized by Eric on a weekly basis.

Part of me really wants to see the level of fear his shorts would exhibit if he knew the things I was capable of doing to him. Perhaps, I take him on a quick teleportation to the stratosphere and leave him to experience a free fall? Maybe transport him across town minus his hands and feet? These are the lunatic thoughts I have to keep me calm and complacent when Eric comes by with his friends in order to range havoc on my blissful existence.

It’s just another setting for a superhero movie that never goes anywhere past the initial background story. My shift started an hour ago with another three hours remaining. The slowest increment of time rests somewhere between 3 – 7pm, I swear.

The chime of the door opening makes me stand upright to greet the customer with a large and friendly smile.

“Thanks, for stopping in,” I begin to greet as I realize it’s only Eric, “to the Golden Bean.” I finish with less enthusiasm than a fat kid in gym class. If giving someone the finger, or ‘my formal answer™’ as I call it, was deserving of any person, it would be him.

Alas, I keep my thoughts and appendages to myself. He smiles at me while I imagine him chuckling like a hyena from the doorway, a sign that he has ideas (possibly two) rattling into each other in that big old barrel of a head, which his thick neck supports.

What I wouldn’t give for the freedom to use an ability right now. Even if it was to simply leave this place. As harmless as Eric’s attempts were, they certainly were annoying the piss out of me. I was already contemplating how I was going to quit and tell Eva I had to start looking for another job when the chime sounded again.

Somewhere behind the wall of Eric and his three contact sport playing friends, a small little bullet of a kid around my age pushed through. Shoulders and hips went ajar as they all wondered what possible magic caused them to move beyond their brute will.

“Hey!” Eric shouted at the smaller person in front of him. He was nearly a foot shorter than I was and had strands of thick-looking hair peeking out in patches beneath a stocking cap. The small strings to his red-hooded sweatshirt whipped back and forth as he locked his gaze on me and proceeded to engage like a heat seeking missile.

“I’m talking to you, runt!” Eric attempted again.

“Shh,” the kid hissed over his shoulder.

Already I liked him, because Eric hated him, it was evident by the way he was representing a thermometer getting ready to boil its mercury out of the vial. As the kid continued his path straight toward me, Eric started a heavy paced walk to turn the kid around and give him an update on who the top of the food chain was.

I was simultaneously scared for the guy and somehow wanting to know how this was going to turn out. I have grown a strange addiction to dark humor these past months.

“Listen here you little sack of – ”

“Shh!!” The guy said louder and somehow with a ton of conviction. Because not only did Eric stop, he feinted or fell over or decided to take an immediate power nap on the floor of the Golden Bean.

The other tagalongs accompanying Eric decided to stand up for their fallen comrade as they made their way to the little man with his back turned to them. A small shuffle of boots and sneakers quickly made their way from the door to where Eric had keeled over as the newly appointed leader spoke up.

“Hey! Who the hell do you think you are?” He asked, and truly, what a dumbass question. Rhetorical or not, this guy was somehow a few points down the IQ scale from a celery stick.

The kid in front of me sighed loudly out of annoyance and turned just before the lug fully cocked back his hand to hit him. “SHH!!!!”

The sound echoed throughout the establishment and amplified into the base of my eardrums. When he was done, a slight ringing subsided in my head and the sound of a crashing set of mugs came through the doorway behind me in the pantry area. When the guy turned around, all of Eric’s sidekicks lay in a heap around him. Also, the other patrons in the shop lay hunched over their lattes and cappuccinos and I’m guessing my co-worker, Ally was also on the floor surrounded by broken cups.

“Oh, good, so you must be Carter,” he says nonchalantly.

It was pretty much like a drug addict watching someone get high right in front of them. My adrenaline was moving and I was excited and happy and all kinds of curious. For the first time in months, there was a little fizzle in the core of my being and I thought I might involuntarily leap.

He looked around the place, taking in the ambience he left in his wake. “So, can I get a drink?”

“Sure, tall or short?” I asked without missing another second.

“Was that a height joke?”

“Did you take it as a height joke?”

“I don’t know yet, that’s why I asked,” he mentions with a slight smirk in his speech.

“Looks like we’ll never find out if it’s the chicken or the egg then,” I sum up, dryly. “Who are you?” I want to give the impression I am calmly accepting the carnage of bodies around me before I ask any more questions or more patrons stroll in.

“Sorry, my name is Junction.”

I can’t resist, “Like Conjunction Junction?” Yes, classic! I would give myself a high-five if it didn’t look like I was clapping.

“No, just Junction.”

He’s ruining my fun here. “No, I meant like the song.” I was about to explain, but I am sure most people my age didn’t get raised by a mother with a love for all classical things. “Never mind, so, what brings you in today? Looking for an application? Just a quick future tip, don’t kill the customers.” As I look down at the four large teenagers behind him.

“Yup, you’re definitely Carter. David told me you were super sarcastic.”

“David?! How is he? I haven’t heard from him in a couple of weeks. Is he okay?” My calm demeanor must have ran out the backdoor, because this frightened little being is left in his place wondering if my friend, and albeit my grandson of all things, is alright.

The squinting look on his face like he just ate bad fruit makes me think otherwise. “Define okay.”

I don’t think anyone has really asked that question in a way that made me have to think of a definition. “Not dead. All limbs accounted for?”

“Oh, yeah. He’s okay then.” And with that, he proceeded to shed the squirm in his face and start looking up at the menu behind me.

“Wait, why did I have to define okay? And what did you do to these people? Am I going to have to start a body disposal shop now?”

“Relax, they’re asleep. They’ll wake up in like ten minutes, refreshed and ready for the world again.” Junction never takes his eyes off the menu as he reaches into his back pocket to fish out a billfold.

“How?” I can’t tell what he is, but he must be a version like Mo in some way, an Eventual.

“You know the small dent between your nose and your upper lip? Well when you were a baby in your mother’s womb I put my finger up there and told you a secret and went, shh.”

Lord. “Okay, dude. I hope you are prepared to reference your movie quotes, because you can’t pass those off as originals with me.”

He actually looked at me with shock and surprise as if I had never seen The Prophecy with Christopher Walken. A classic 90’s movie about angels and demons, I mean, who hasn’t seen that?

“Um, sorry,” he apologized with a little shame. I’m sure I ruined one of the coolest things he says when first meeting people. “I don’t know, it was just a thing I learned to do when I was twelve. I was getting ready to start at Pemberton Academy as a transfer from Jefferson City when the school blew up or imploded or whatever they said. David found me out and offered his help.”

“So, making people go to sleep. That’s all you have?” I wasn’t saying it to seem like it wasn’t a pretty cool gift, but the hurtful look in his eyes made me think to rephrase the question. “I mean, has David worked with you to make sure that’s the only one. I thought I only had one, and later I developed a way to find out more that I could do.”

A calming relief settled over Junction and he seemed to lighten up. “David has a lot of kids he’s trying to juggle right now. A lot of them have some serious behavioral issues and he’s working with them more than anyone else.”

“Junction, can I call you Junk?” I’m testing the waters, mainly because his name sounds ridiculous to me. Not that Junk is leaps and bounds better.

“Yeah, man,” he said with a smile, “that’s fine.”

“Great. Now, can you tell me what the hell is happening with David?”

“He won’t wake up,” Junk mentions while looking at the menu once again.

“Like he’s sleepy with mono or like he’s in a coma?” I ask motioning with my arms for him to give me more.

“Well, we think that the Pirates put some sort of spell on him and now we can’t get him to wake up. Ooo, can I get a short, peppermint mocha?”

Just so we’re all up to speed: my name is Carter James Price. People back in Lincoln Center knew me as Carter DeTamble. I can travel in time, teleport to anywhere I can think of and I’m almost 18-years old. My 38-year old grandson, David, who traveled back here in time himself, has apparently been put under a spell by Pirates of all things. My mind-reading, telekinetic girlfriend and I will most likely have to go back to the place we’re being hunted from in order to save our grandson. Oh and some high school sophomore named Junk, who lulls people to sleep, is standing here trying to buy a $10 coffee with a coupon for a free ice cream and $3.

It would be hilarious if it just wasn’t so damn sad.

If you have made it this far and wonder what in the hell is going on? This is a sequel to The Time Traveler’s Grandchild. Go check on that one before you get really confused, as if you aren’t already…

I hope to get any suggestions or comments from you! Thanks for reading!

Later today I will post out another Chapter, so come on back!


Journey of 1000 Miles

A Glimpse

Man in the Mirror


By all other means, today is beautiful. Every now and again there moments where the air is just right, the sun is warm and not too bright. The insects keep to themselves while chirping and buzzing at a distance, it’s not too hot or cold. One can smell the sweet fragrance of the pine trees from the forest close by; a deep and crisp smell instinctively reminding us of Christmas. The breeze is a soft kiss from the clouds and brushes by our skin enough to cool us down and feel at peace.

By those accounts, the day itself is wonderful. For Tyler, his day and his life are consequently coming to an end. He is tied to one of the crosses the Legion carry with them. His arms are wrapped around the horizontal, wooden bar making his shoulders have to arch backwards and causing his chest to protrude. His head hangs downward as his unconscious mind tries to come to clarity.

The T-shaped cross is leaning forward at a forty-five degree angle from the ground. If he could notice, he would see the cross is planted into the field just below the Coughing Rock, an area outside of the town he grew up. The grass is thick and green, showing off the signs of Spring and before the Summer heat crisps it all to brown tendrils. Below him, bending the grass to the ground is a large mirror facing up at him.

The mirror was taken from his house and used to belong to his grandparents. A large deep oak frame surrounded the glass and the edging held intricate carvings with large swooping patterns. The craftsmanship and time spent on the mirror is reflective of elder craftsmanship and was apparent even back then, the large furnishing would have cost quite a lot.

As the sun hit the beveled edge of the mirror, a beam shot up and into Tyler’s face. The blinding spire began to rouse him from unconsciousness and as he opened his mouth, thick strings of blood slowly started to leak out. His shaggy hair hung down in large, wet chunks. Some of it caked with blood and the other locks with sweat. As he gained his bearings, he could at first taste the coppery bitterness inside his cheek, like he had been sucking on a penny for the last hour. Most of his right side around his jawbone felt numb and puffy. Then as he came to even more, the throbbing pulse of pain started to branch out like a quick-growing weed whose roots have burrowed in. It traveled in zigzag branches through his face and landed in a clump towards the side of his head where one of the guards had struck him.

The pain gave way to anxiety as he felt his arms restrained. He had been caught. He can recall the chase as he had leapt through the looking glass at his apartment and they were all waiting there for him. He had only enough time to swallow his rapidly beating heart and start diving through his fire escape. He ran up, not down, hoping he still had a plank draped across to the other roof as he had planned and positioned it many months ago. He remembered scaling to the top at lightning speed and began sprinting over the tarred rooftop. He was nearly to the edge when the guard appeared behind the rooftop exist and thrown his baton, cleanly hitting Tyler right by his temple and dropping him instantly.

Now Tyler began to open his eyes to the blinding afternoon to see what was to come. As he looked down, he noticed the mirror from his apartment below him. It was set for an execution.

From behind him, he could hear the grass being swayed by footsteps. The swooshing noise reminded him of when his brother and him would play tag out in the pasture off their grandparents’ farm. It felt most unfortunate to have to associate that noise with this moment from now on.

“Tyler Rothechild. You have been captured and are now in an executable venture as deemed through the Department of Defense. We are set to carry out these orders at 3:00 in the afternoon on this day in April. We are also giving you the option to reduce the count to life in prison for information leading to the whereabouts of your brother, Aiden Rothechild. Do you understand the charges and repercussions as I have stated?”

Tyler made no sound and simply hung there in the air, waiting. “Clerk, make note the subject declined the auditory answer and nodded instead.”

“Wait –”

“Clerk, that is all. You may choose to wait in the vehicle until the sentence is carried out or the subject confesses.”

A small woman of about 40 years old, shut down the tablet recording the speech and proceeded with one of the two guards toward the Legion’s transport vehicle in the distance behind Tyler. The speaker made his way closer to him and simply began whistling a little tune. From what could be picked up, it sounded like Happy Birthday.

“Tyler, I hope I can call you that, I always find the formal jargon a little impersonal. And truth be told, beyond sex, this is truly the closest two people will ever get; a dying man and his executioner.”

“What is this?” Even though Tyler had heard of executions for Shifters, he had never seen let alone been partied to one.

The speaker simply smiled; an ear to ear grin reminiscent of the Cheshire cat. The smile raised the mustache nearly to the corners of his eyes. Tyler noticed he had an old-style handlebar, the kind men used to wax into curls. That, along with his grin, gave Tyler a shiver.

“This? This is the moment where you realize there are one of two basic options. A and B. A, you play big Billy bad ass and try to clam up. This will momentarily save your brother from being found. This option also leaves you with a bloody smile which starts across your throat. Option B, you tell me where he is at, where he might go, where he’s been and we shorten this little chase and both you and your brother become incarcerated at San Joaquin, a nice little hole in the dirt made just for people like yourself. Granted, there is no parole for your kind, you basically stay locked up forever, and you and I know that can mean a hell of a long time for you two.”

Tyler tried feeling out the methods to how he was held in place, they weren’t ropes, they were straps and they were tightly in place, so no wiggle room allowed. His feet were held similarly. There was only two means of escape, A or B.

“And, might I add, Option A, if you don’t already know, will permanently kill you. You see, we found out a while ago that just shooting you here, you eventually just pop back up somewhere else. A guard once, shot a Shifter as he ran for a looking glass. His blood sprayed out and as he made contact, nothing. No going through, no other contact. So we learned in order for your kind to truly be killed, we had to do it in front of a mirror. Hence, below.” He stretched out his arm and did a ta-da number with his fingers.

“You see, as we can describe it, you shift between this world and the others and can transport yourself to anywhere in our world. Shit, you can even come back from death itself… unless your reflection see’s you dying.” The man peered up at Tyler, trying to invoke a response. Spit in the eye, a plea, a curse word or two, but he just hung up there and looked down at his reflection.

“So, A or B? I won’t ask again and there won’t be a second chance.”

Tyler took only a moment to think, knowing his brother was far more important than what his life had to offer. He had the plan and the means to fix things in this world. So for him, the answer was simple, “A.”

The speaker sighed a little, but his grin simply grew wider. He raised one finger in the air and gave a clockwise spinning motion to the guard near the base. There was a crank that the guard began turning and the cross slowly started to lower towards the mirror. The speaker walked towards the base and Tyler could feel his throat slowly close and his heart pound. Then there was a jarring as the cross stopped followed by another one from the speaker jumping onto it and slowly walking up towards his body. The mirror was a short three feet away, if only he could only get a finger on it, the rest could help pull him through. The footsteps felt heavier and closer as he approached. And as Tyler looked down, he could see his reflection squirming trying to find a way to get free and the panicked look suffocating its eyes. Tyler could offer no comfort, but still tried, “I’m sorry. Everything will work out as it is supposed to.”

His reflection tried to embrace the inevitability, but tears formed in its eyes and flew upwards, colliding with the pane. Tyler’s eyes were dry and waiting. As he looked into his reflection, the speaker appeared over him and began to kneel down until he straddled the cross, making it look like Tyler was the horse and he, the rider.

As he twisted Tyler’s hair into his fist and pulled up he whispered, “I’m so glad you went with A. Your kind needs to be put down, and I am just the bastard to help. My name is Christian Del Rey and I hope you find me in Hell when I get there.”

The knife drew across from the left jugular all the way to the right. Tyler felt a long sting, but not much pain. The worst part was feeling the rush of air enter his throat and the wet slicing sound the blade reverberated through him. His head grew lighter and his hands and feet were cold. His reflection writhed and tried hard to escape its death as he accepted his. Finally, both he and his reflection slowly faded like the light from a sun going over the horizon.

Blood pooled around the mirror’s edge until the entire surface was covered. Tyler’s body had one last surge trying to escape the clutches of death, but after a few jerks he went still. The slightly different reflection beneath Tyler could barely be seen through the bloody haze. The reflection wore a different hairstyle and clothing altogether. Once Tyler’s life slipped away on the cross, the reflection changed back to the man strapped above it.

Very few Shifters know what happens when their host body dies. Hosts are considered to be the soul carriers. They can travel in and amongst different realities through mirrors or looking glass as the Legion refers. Once they shift through a mirror, they enter the body on the other side where they want to go. When they shift back, they can exit through any mirror large enough for their body.

This is why the King of America has deemed that all looking glasses throughout the regulated kingdoms cannot be larger than a fist and no two looking glasses should be brought together at one time. In total, there are seven realms. Six rotate around the Prime, where all of the Shifters come in and out.

Shifting helps share knowledge from where they go. Their abilities are increased as well as their intelligence. For some, they also learn greed and become power hungry. This is why the King wants to banish the practice of Shifting and seal off the ability to move between realms. The eldest Prince of America had the ability to Shift and it drove him mad after he returned from the 3rd Realm.

Each realm holds differences within them, some are technology based, others spiritual. The 3rd Realm has the most possibilities because it is enriched with emotions, but it also has the most to lose. Emotions become saturated and without the right guidance can be corrupting.

The Prime Realm feeds off the other six and therefore has a combination of science, magic and spirituality from all of them. Tyler Rothechild came from a family who served as an advisor to the King. When the King learned his Royal Advisor’s sons had the ability to Shift, it was thought to use their talents and have them work as the King’s spies. They would go and find other Shifters and make certain to alert the King of any conspiracies.

Aiden, the oldest Rothechild boy found more truths out between the six realms than he did from the King. He saw the beauty, the tragedy and the natural order of life while he Shifted in and out of his other bodies. It was because of this he realized the Prime Realm would eventually take all of the life from the others if something wasn’t done to stop it.

Pleading with the King got Aiden and his family nowhere. In fact, it nearly got them all detained and killed. Aiden and Tyler lost their parents that day and escaped through a mirror they brought along. Aiden even tried to drag the King through the mirror with him. All he succeeded in doing is making the King go headfirst into his reflection, breaking the mirror and scarring his face in long jagged lines.

From that moment on, the King has placed bounties on every Shifter. Aiden was now alone with his brother gone. He would have to find a way to stop the King and save the other six realms before they all started converging into the Prime and be lost forever.

A Time to Reap

Final Blog Chapter

TTTG Ch 12

Well, spank me on the rear and call me a newborn. I had never met a Hunter before in my life and I guess a lot of my own internal questions were being answered while many more started sprouting up.

“How do you know he was a Hunter, Mo?”

“I could sense it in him. He’s not powerful like we are, even when we’re apart. But I think he could read your mom if he wanted to.”

Wow, that’s scary. A day ago, my mom was dazzling me with the things she could do. She was blocking Mo from me and flashing around the kitchen. Now, Mo was basically saying people below our abilities (aka, Mom) would be in danger around a Hunter.

“Did you get anything else from him?”

“He was easy to pick up on, but it was hard to understand all of him. He was blocking something out. And he kept trying to hide his face from my memories.”

“Is that what he was doing? I thought it was hard to look at him or something.”

“Another thing,” she says reluctantly, “they apparently have a hierarchy to Hunters.”

And something tells me my next question’s answer will not be favorable. “Like low level to high level?”

“Uh huh,” she states.

“And we’re on the …?” Please let me be wrong.

“The tippy-top.”

“Of course we are. I mean why wouldn’t we be?”

Her smile is not confidence inspiring by any means, but she’s at least acknowledging the dark humor in this situation of ours.

“Carter, there are 12 of them at our level. He wasn’t here for me, he was here for you. I think that’s the only way I got to read him, he wasn’t expecting me.”

I’m sure my smile has her wondering what the hell? But I think I know what we have to do today at school and it doesn’t involve my Lit paper or the Theorems from Geometry.

Mo and I got ready and rode the transit to school together. I kept stealing glances at her along the trip, throwing mental conversations at her along the way. It was a new way to communicate and the more we did it, the better we got. It wasn’t even necessary to say words at times. We could think of a picture or an emotion and when we pushed it over to each other, we immediately knew.

I didn’t necessarily ask her to be my girlfriend or anything as corny as that. But over the past few days, we have grown together like vines and were able to share things with one another in a way unlike anyone else could. We were further along in sharing ourselves then most people were in their first few years. Titles or gestures were no longer really needed. As she held my hand on the last part of the trip, it was evident to us both we were feeling love. Love as best as we knew how to describe it. We have yet to kiss and already she had my heart.

The doors opened to the station and we stepped out together. The school was a block away and I was suddenly hit with anxiety. My stomach bubbled and a patch of icicles poked down my neck. What would happen today and what if I didn’t do the right thing at the right time?

Mo squeezes my hand in two short bursts. Her winning smile is back and shining at me as her warm eyes peek out below the stocking hat I gave her to keep her pretty melon warm. In those few seconds, she reaffirmed me that we’d be fine.

The first two periods flew by like they were candles on a birthday cake, extinguished in a blink. About half way through the 3rd period, fortunately right before I was supposed to give my speech on the book I had yet to read, the communication link sounded calling for both Mo and I. It even took over the white board in the upper right corner showing our names and pictures. It looked like we were fugitives.

It was amusing to me, simply because they did that with everyone, except in my case, I may indeed be a criminal by the end of this period.

As I opened the frosted glass door reading Principal’s Office, I immediately noticed Mo sitting behind the countertop separating those waiting for the Principal and those simply in there for whatever reason.

I approach the front where Victoria is busy typing away at something. Victoria is Principal Uzman’s assistant and simply one of the nicest people I have ever met. She always has a smile to give you and remembers your name no matter who you are. Her wrinkles were only present in her smile even though she was older than my mother. The love this woman had for perfume was her only downfall. I think she has a misting machine she runs through periodically throughout the day in order to have a fresh coat on her clothes at all times. By the afternoon, she gets mighty potent.

“Hi, Victoria!” I was a little too enthusiastic. I hadn’t seen her in about a year.

“Carter DeTamble, how have you been sugar?” Her slight southern speak comes out when she’s being informal.

“I’m good, only had a few spells so far this term, so I’d say I’m improving.” My sophomore year had me in and out of class a lot. I was leaping out of nervousness I think, but there were a couple of instances when I leapt back into a gym class locker room. Thankfully, it was the boys and not the girls’ side.

“That’s wonderful, hon. So, it looks like you and Ms. Zester are set to visit with Principal Uzman.”

“Yah, I guess so. Any clues you can give me as to why?”

She pouted slightly, “Afraid not, they only have me give out the announcements. I don’t get to be privy as to the why.”

I smiled back knowing as much and she waived me through the swinging bar saloon-style gate leading behind her to the hallway with chairs lined on each side. Mo was sitting patiently in one and as I sat down beside her I noticed panic.

“What’s wrong?”

“Carter, I can’t sense anything. I actually tried and I can’t sly or buffer or push. Someone or something here is better at this than me.”

Oh, shit. “Well, that’s not good.”

She giggles nervously, cute but still no comparison to her normal laughter. Hoping to calm her nerves, I push a thought to her. It would be the physical equivalent to a mother stroking her hands through her child’s hair. It was a motion that either put me at ease or to sleep.

As she calmed down she looked at me relieved. A few seconds passed before her face scrunched ever so slightly in confusion. She reached out and held my hand and repeated the look.

“You’re much stronger than I am, Carter.”

“How is that?”

“You can still push thoughts to me. Even touching you, I can’t.”

Curiouser and curiouser. I always liked the saying since we read the classic Alice in Wonderland last year in Literature History class. But I hope something wasn’t overlooked or changed since I forecasted last night. My theories on time travel were limited and mostly theoretical, traveling ahead in time was never a factor so thinking of all the possible outcomes and scenarios was giving me a headache now. Swallowing down the large bite of alternate universes and string theories nearly killed me before the door across from us opened.

Lingering in the doorway, Principal Uzman was standing like a giant mutant. His skin shone even in the dim light of his doorway. I truly hoped that “future me” knew what he was talking about because right now I want to flash with Mo back home and begin running.

“Mr. DeTamble, Ms. Zester, please come into my office.” His voice was the only semi-cool thing about the man. It was low and grumbly like what you’d expect an evil wizard to sound like. If you only heard him talk, he’d be frightening. Mixed with his appearance though, he was simply creepy.

“Ready?” I ask Mo.

“As I’ll ever be.” Her panic was back but subdued as she felt better by my side.

As we walk into Uz Land. Wait, strike that. As we walk in the Land of Uz (yah, much better), I pick up on the thing Mo was mentioning. It was like a high-pitched frequency in the background. You wouldn’t even know it unless you really tried. It wasn’t mechanical though. It was coming from a person.

Whatever it was, it was trying to jam up Mo’s ability and mine I suspect. The only thing was I seemed to operate just fine without it. I could feel the molecules in my body ready to flash on command or buffer out any other attempts on me; although I couldn’t really test it without someone noticing.

Principal Uzman stepped into his office and waited on us to follow. On our way there, Mo grabs my hand with an emphatic squeeze.

“I don’t think this will work for us if I can’t help. I feel useless.”

I give a smaller squeeze back. “It’ll be okay. I’ll figure something out.”

We cross over the threshold into Uzman’s office and I fully expected a veil to drop or a signifying something letting me realize how we were now in the Danger Zone. Instead, it was a poorly lit office except for a desk lamp. There were no windows in his office, so it was more cave than anything. As my eyes adjusted to the gloominess, I realized it wasn’t just Principal Uzman and us. In the far corner, the Deslin twins were standing and looking at us like wounded gazelle in the African open field.

Mo had just enough time to look back at me with actual fear. It wasn’t panic, it was pure blown fear. For that I was going to take great delight in getting my retribution on them.

As Mo collapsed into my arms, I realized the twins were there as a method of getting information out of us. In their wicked smiles I knew together they were able to gang up on Mo who was defenseless and knock her out. The same was going to be directed at me soon.

Crap! I had to take this one on the chin. I couldn’t block them or else this charade would be over before it began. And if that’s the case, who knows what they would do to Mo before I could stop them. I had to let them feel like they’re winning and more powerful in order for them to let their guard down.

Man, this day better end in a win for us.


Thanks for everyone and anyone interested enough to read this far into the first half of The Time Traveler’s Grandchild. As I stated before, if anyone wants to continue seeing chapters, please feel free to email me and I will make sure to pass them along. Otherwise, I hope you will all join me on new stories both short and novel-based as I continue!

Journey of 1000 Miles

TTTG Ch. 11: In the First Year

TTTG Ch 11

No lie, I am exhausted. After I finally got to sit down and take the day in, all of the flashing and conduit training really takes its toll. Mo didn’t survive past dinner. She fell asleep propped up on her hands at the kitchen table as the water boiled on the stove for my special macaroni from a box.

I lasted at least until I made it up to my bedroom. Granted it was before 8:00 at night and my mother wasn’t even home yet. Still, I beat out Mo. I consider that winning. I couldn’t carry her all the way down to her room for the night so I put her on the far end of the king bed in my room.

If anything, my mom would freak out. But I was honestly too tired to even notice Mo in any way other than my friend needing a place to sleep. I was nice and tucked her in under the sheets while I remained above them. I think this makes a neutral barrier for us both.

The last thing I recall before drifting off was how my bed was seriously the most comfortable thing in all of creation. My muscles melted like butter in a skillet the moment I laid down. There is something to be said about the cool breeze of fall outside of a nice warm comforter.

On top of a mentally and physically exhausting day, I also learned my slightly cranky trainer is actually my grandson from the future trying to protect me. Try, just try and make this scenario believable to someone a few decades ago. Their mind would pop.

On a side note, I need to be nicer to David when he grows up.

As my thoughts calmed into the pillow beneath my head, my body floated off to sleep. It was the most relaxing feeling I could imagine making the exhaustive day worthwhile if this is the reward. I would catch small fragrances of Mo’s soap or perfume, I couldn’t tell. It was citrusy and relaxing in the same. A fleeting glimpse of her resting on her side was all the heaviness of my eyelids would allow as I was out.

My dream started early that evening for me. I was a ghost, I think, floating like a breeze through the streets. Everything appeared like my city. I could see familiar places I had been like the station where I went to school each day. I moved along the air with the track and the first difference I could see was the gigantic crater in place of where my school used to be.

It wasn’t recent as it looked like loose debris had already been cleared away. The hole remained in place of an area stretching out engulfing the entire complex, parking lot, practice field and out into the streets around the property. Something large and heavy fell on my school or something massive exploded.

My dream allowed me to drift down to the nearby park a couple of blocks from where the Pemberton School used to be. I got closer and closer to the ground and stabilized myself at my normal field of vision. I had no recollection of my limbs; I was just a floating mass wafting in the night time air.

Something pulls my focus as I notice a couple of men walking down the dim path. I could catch their features for a second as they passed under the old fashioned light posts. It only took a couple of times to realize it was David and I. As I got closer, I could tell we were talking about something important.

“We simply can’t trust him,” David explains. “I know he’s your father, he’s my great grandfather, and no one wants it to be truer than either of us. But the simple fact is too much of this is coinciding with what happened to that hunter from a couple of months ago.”

“I know that, David.” Boy I sound pissy in this dream. “He came to us at great risk though. If we hadn’t been in the exact place at that exact time, you know he would have died. Call me old fashioned, but I still would like to know the whole story before believing in what someone tells me.”

“And that Hunter? Did he not convince you enough?”

I am starting to question the dream I’m having. Everything feels too vivid. Even though I feel like I’m floating on my back in water there’s something too real about it all.

“That’s so unfair. You know why I couldn’t just let him go.”

David began shaking his head in apology. As he did so, a breeze picked up into a small gust and a red food wrapper hugged around his leg.

“Man, shit. Why don’t people use the poles around here?” David is talking about the receptacle poles, which are literally located on every street corner. Basically, you put trash in, then it crushes, sorts and recycles what it can and burns off what it can’t; all eco-safe.

“Wow, I know this moment,” I casually mention to David.


“Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll catch up to you at the shop.” David nods and takes a few cautious glances around and in a glimmer disappears. No matter how many times I see it, it still gives me excited goose bumps.

My self goes over to a bench located directly beneath one of the lamp posts, takes a seat and waits. Whatever dream ocean I’m floating in has a current pulling me in that direction. I look like I’m trying to recall something as my eyes are pinched shut. When I open them, I’m looking right in my direction.

“I know you’re there. I remember this moment, only I was on the other side of this conversation when it happened for me.”

Wait, is this a dream?

“It’s not a dream, Carter. Oh, that’s weird, addressing myself aloud without having a real face to speak to.”

Can you hear me? Am I talking to you somehow?

A few moments go by, “I think I asked if I could hear me, and if it proves the same, then no. I can’t hear you. What you are doing is forecasting. You are asleep right now in your bed at home. Mo’s lying beside you. Because she is there, the Gemini power is working. So she is fueling a submersed talent you weren’t aware of before.”

I’m curious. This still feels like a dream, but in the same way I know that it isn’t.

“This is your first of many forecasts. You are basically doing what Timothy Lord did, only you are doing it correctly. Right now, you have projected your conscious a year in the future. Because you are me, your conscious will always be drawn to wherever I am. So no winning lotto picks, no roaming about trying to expect what else is going on in the world. You will be drawn to me whenever you forecast. After a while I won’t be able to remember all of our first encounters, so I won’t always know when you’re there.”

No way! If he could hear me or hear himself, I guess, I would be squealing with excitement. I wonder how many other hidden gems I have in store.

“Neat, right?” You’re damn right, …me. “Well, the main thing I have to tell you right now is about your tomorrow when you wake up.”

Ah yes, my apparent Doomsday. I hope I have some insights to share with myself.

“First of all, don’t panic. At least don’t panic yourself into flashing out of the room. They’ll be expecting something from you in order to track how you do it. And if they learn how you do it, they’ll also learn how to prevent you from doing it.”

Wait, am I saying once I wake up I’m going to be surrounded?

“Secondly, don’t worry about Mo. They are going to take her into another room thinking if you two are apart you won’t be any threat. She’ll be fine and you both will get through the day unharmed.”

Okay, so no panicking or worrying. And if this really is the future then I made it out okay and listened to my former future self. Wait, what? Crap! Time travel and loops get confusing.

“Lastly, just agree to whatever they say. Admit everything up to meeting David. Leave him out of it. But tell them about Ray and lying about Ray. Tell them about your mother with their questions when they ask. They’ll have you both back to school before the first bell sounds.”

Wait, I’m still going to school? As a student? Not sneaky-ninjaing in through a window or something? Nuts. I was kinda looking forward to that part.

“I know, sucks right? Don’t worry, you’ll have ninja moments later that day.” My future self looks around making sure that no one is approaching. As he does, I am curious what I have gone through in a year. I don’t look older, but there is something about me. Something that’s drastically different.

“Now, Principal Uzman will call you both to the office. Not to spoil it all for you but he basically runs the Program. The Program is the under the scenes organization within the government keeping tabs on people like us, and simultaneously experimenting on people with various levels of abilities. Most are kicked back out into society, not useful or harmful enough to do anything. Others either join into the Program or they simply vanish. Blamed on whatever is convenient at the time.”

I don’t know what creeps me out more, knowing such a thing like the Program exists or having to be in the same room with Principal Uzman who runs it. Principal Uz as we like to call him is pretty much the grossest man I have met. Not because he has a strange oily complexion necessarily, but he looks oddly disproportionate. His arms are too long, always exposing a few inches of wrist past his dress shirts. And, even though he is not an obese man, he has a strange double chin that’s always present.

The thought makes me dry heave and that is hard to do as a conscious projection into the future, well I’m guessing.

“When you are in there, don’t try to out buffer anyone. Not right away. Wait until the right moment. You’ll know when, cowboy. After that, be prepared to act fast work together. You’ll have about 15 minutes to find out what you need. Afterwards, let Mo work her magic and leave.”

Leave? Like go back to class, leave or get out of town, leave?

“Get home and your mom will be there waiting. She can take it from there.”

I have a feeling my comfortable night’s sleep might be the last I get for quite a long time. So, wake up without panicking, agree to whatever and make it calmly through a day of school before getting called into the principal’s office to hopefully overpower and mentally interrogate him. Got it.

“Time to get up, Carter.”

The comfortable warmth of my bed and the rhythmic feel of floating are suddenly pulled back into a cold and drafty room. Someone is holding my hand as I come out of the daze that I still believe is a dream.

“Don’t move!”

As my blur tends to focus, there is a dark thing a few inches from my face. As my eyes strain to identify the object it slowly becomes apparent that the barrel of a gun is aimed at me. Poop my skivvies; I’ve never seen a gun in real life let alone had one pointed at me.

“Good morning, Mr. White.” It’s like I knew it was going to be him.

“Dr. Phillips. This is an interesting alarm clock service you’re providing.” I’m pretty sure my voice cracked in there somewhere.

“I received a concerning notice the other day which led us here. Whereas I am thankful for finding both of you here,” as he motions to Mo who is being escorted out of the room by a rather thick-necked gentleman in a suit, “still, I am curious as to how.”

“What do you mean?” I know what he means, he’s asking about Mo and her making it out of the car in one piece.

“We had a couple of witnesses come forward mentioning how you two were fighting earlier today and they thought you threatened Ms. Zester.” His smile was like a poison working its way through my blood.

“Well, as you can see, she is fine. I think whoever told you that was pulling your leg.” I have this strange itchy sensation coming from inside my head. My focus shifts from Dr. Phillips to the man standing in the background of my room. I thought he was a henchman like the one who woke me to the barrel of his gun. I can’t tell for certain, but I think he is trying to read me.

A small rush of panic quickly trails behind my thoughts as I scramble for what to do. Buffer? No, if I make my brain completely blank, they’ll know I’m able to hide something. The best I can do is try to imagine not rescuing Mo and everything else that followed.

“Mr. White, we came over here to question you about her car exploding. People from various angles said they witnessed her in the car seconds before it blew up, they also recalled seeing you there. So, now we are curious if you saw what happened?”

The man in the room is strong-arming his way into my thoughts, not like Mo who can simply pick them up. Luckily I learned quite a lot through David in the last day and I believe I hid all pertinent information as he goes trudging around.

“Is everything alright, Mr. White? You look pale.” His venomous grin makes me think that is what he expects, me in pain. I allow the charade to continue.

“It’s fine, I just have a headache.”

“Well, hopefully it goes away soon. Now, do you know anything about what happened to Ms. Zester?”

“Not really. I was at home and the next minute, she was in my backyard. She thought someone was trying to hurt her but not sure who. We bonded a little bit earlier in the day and I didn’t think she had any other friend to turn to so I let her spend a couple of days with me.”

“Without contacting her guardian?”

“Mo told me her aunt was out of town and not able to be reached, but she would be contacting her as soon as she thought she’d be available.” Where in the hell am I conjuring this story from? Because I know I’m not imagining it, but it certainly is pouring out of my mouth like I actually thought it.

“And you both didn’t attend school yesterday? What were you up to?”

“Mo was still scared the next day. I was caught up on all my assignments so I stayed with her. We walked around and even went to some places where I grew up, sharing some memories to take her mind off of things.”

“Ah, and where would that have been?”

This cat and mouse game gets old, especially since I know I am like a pit-bull hiding as the mouse. “Down by the wharf district. I used to play soccer down at a field around there. We just bummed around the rest of the day.”

At this, Dr. Phillips glances slightly over his shoulder in the other man’s direction. After a couple of seconds, he turns back to me. The toxicity of his smile was gone. “Mr. White, are you familiar with Raymond Lord, known by many as Lord Ray?”

I tried to force a small spike of panic so the Eventual in the room would pick up on something. From there on out, I confessed to being abducted by Lord Ray, all of the things I went through with him and anything else that fed Dr. Phillips’ hunger for information. After he was fully satisfied with my meal of explanations, he left the room briefly and I was alone with the man standing at the other end of my room.

He was ominous as anything I imagined a government agent could be like. He wore a dark suit with a darker undershirt. His tie was a vibrant blue and somehow took notice away from him. Even trying to recognize his features was difficult. The moment I tried to remember something about him, it would slip through like trying to stick margarine to a hot frying pan.

Dr. Phillips entered the room before it got to the point where I became nervous. I still have no idea what that guy looks like.

“Your story corroborates with Ms. Zester’s accounts.” He looked highly disappointed. Ha, good. “We recommend you both return to school tomorrow and have already assured your friend that we will devote resources into what happened to her vehicle and how she wound up in your yard.”

Dr. Phillips stands up and slides my chair back under my desk, signifying it was time to leave. The figure in my room didn’t budge. “Mr. Gemini, if you please.”

A small glare later and the man started moving. Gemini? Somehow that’s too coincidental for me. A part of me really wants to know more about that guy but doing so would tip them off to some degree. For now, it was better to let them go about their business and get out of my house.

After they all left the house and drove safely away, it was safe to talk with my mother and Mo again.

“Well, that went as expected.”

“Expected?!” my mother nearly shouts. “I nearly peed myself coming out of the bathroom to see a gun pointed at me.”

I giggle a little in my head, but thankfully hide that from her in my thoughts and my expression.

“Mo, was that you feeding me a story to tell Dr. Phillips?” Her shy grin confirms it. “How did you do that?”

“Well, you were busy buffering the other guy in your room to what you wanted him to know. I figured you could use a hand. But hey, looks like we get to go to school in a few hours.”

Skippy, just how I wanted to start my morning, three hours earlier than I normally wake up followed by a rigorous interrogation. “Did you pick up on what they called the guy in my room?”

“I heard, Gemini. I also got a little from him on what he was there to do.”

“I felt him poking around inside my head. It was unpleasant to say the least.” Remembering it gives me a small shiver. I hope such a thing doesn’t happen again.

“Did you catch what he was though?”

Now I’m wondering what else I missed besides what he looked like. “No, what?”

Mo was walking to go upstairs and change her clothes. She paused on her way up the stairs, looking over some of the photos on the wall. Her lack of an answer made me ask again as she was staring once again at my family photo.

“What was he, Mo?”

“You just had a Hunter in your house.”

A Time to Reap

TTTG Ch. 9: There Was a Certain Man


What we learned later that evening, the scrambled mix up work Mo did as a conduit shared a lot of information between the three of us. Mainly, my mother was not going to leave Mo or I alone together for too long and apparently a lot of the preliminary training was no longer needed. Mom shared the knowledge of her struggles on how to leap, flash and buffer to both of us. Granted, Mo won’t benefit from anything except the buffering aspect, but nevertheless, she now knows how it works.

I was now fully aware of the limitations and the precautions to leaping. I knew how to regulate my body or harness my ability to use it. Flashing was different. If there was a comparison, leaping was like using a shotgun on a target at point blank range; flashing was using a high powered rifle from a hundred yards away with the precision of a sniper. The more I practiced, the better my scope and the steadier my aim.

My attempts last night were a little hit and miss. My first attempt put me in the backyard, naked again. Awesome. The nudity followed on all attempts up to #11. I had to make Mo close her eyes as I was closing in on my target area. Mom was one thing, girlfriend (when I get the chance to ask her someday soon) is entirely different.

Good ol’ number 11. I flashed from one point of the kitchen to the backdoor. All my clothes still on! I paraded around gallantly.

“Is that your sock?” Mo pointed out on the floor.

“Yup,” also feels like my underwear are on backwards too, “but still, all the main areas are covered!”

A slow clap from both in the peanut gallery didn’t make me any less proud of myself. In fact, I wished I could have been shown during our conduit session just how well my mother did on her attempts. I bet there were some doozies in there as well.

This morning, I made my way out of my room like a vampire from a crypt, the light seeping in from the hallway was blinding in a smear of fluorescent blues, yellows and oranges. As I adjusted my eyes to the single light overhead beaming at me with a penetrating 40 watts of sunlight, I heard the door down the hall open and Mo come walking out.

And I am fairly certain that if there ever was a moment outside of a road accident, a zombie film or my death bed, Mo was seeing me at the worst possible time of day. I must have looked like a kid who just finished crying then got thrown into a pillow fight with dodge balls in the cases instead of feathers.

“Hi,” I roughly manage.

“Good morning.” Her perkiness was adorable and made me fairly ashamed to have to put her through looking at me at the moment. How does someone wake up looking like that? I must master those secrets.

As she walks by me down the hall past me, she sniffs a little and I think sweat started forming immediately as I’m sure that my activities last night and stewing in them all night have left me pretty ripe.

“Don’t you smell manly,” she mentions with a wink as she leaves me alone in the hallway looking like a lost old man in the super market.

My insides smile where my mouth forgets to follow. And for whatever reason in my head, it seemed like the good idea to smell under my arms. Whew, I’m glad she’s not offended, but I am going to hose this musk off.

After a rigorous hose off, I throw on my favorite jeans, a throwback AFI t-shirt from my mom’s era (the one with three rabbits in a circle) and head downstairs for some breakfast and to prepare for the day.

My red sneakers no sooner touch the ground level when the doorbell rings. Cautiously, I look around for Mo who I see heading up the stairs at the back of the kitchen. My mom has no doubt gone to work already, so I timidly approach the door. A quick wave in front of the reveal pad and the thick wooden door becomes transparent on my side revealing an older man in a familiar purple delivery uniform (I order a lot of stuff online). He has a single envelope in his grasp.

I key the code to unlock the front door and as it slides away, the man greets me with a hearty good morning. He dispenses with small talk and sticks to pleasantries as he asks for me by name and then has me sign for my letter. He turns and promptly leaves as he came, wishing me a good day.

Safely inside and behind a locked door, I proceed to the kitchen and mentally call to Mo that the coast is clear. As she lightly traipses down to the kitchen, I am already in the midst of unsealing the envelope.

I open up the slit the pull tab created and shuffle the contents out. A simple photograph was inside. It was a picture of a park that I used to play soccer in when I was younger. On the back there was a time of 8:45 scrawled in marker. Underneath it said flash with your friend here.

“Well, that’s optimistic of them now isn’t it?”

“I guess they know you have the capability?”

As I look at the nearest clock, it reads 8:32. “Think we should try to be early?”

“I assume they would appreciate it more than fashionably late. Plus, what if we have to run the rest of the way in case you miss?” Her coy grin is somehow infuriating and captivating at the same time.

“You think I’ll miss?!”

“You are rather new at all of this. Plus, you’d be carrying a passenger.” Her wink seals my gushy heart in a box and she now has it. Great, I’m a sap.

I snag the closest breakfast bar from the kitchen and stuff it in my front pocket. I motion for her to take my hands and as I begin prepping my concentration for where we need to go. I think back to the times when we were kicking that white and black pocked ball around in the cool spring morning. I can still remember hearing the birds returning from migration and swooping down to the creek that ran by the field.

As Mo clasps both of her hands in mine, we immediately flash. I’m not sure if it was the startle and jolt of her touching me or if it has anything to do with being Gemini. Regardless, we were standing in an abandoned soccer field.

“Whoa!” I exclaim. “That was unexpected.”

“No shit,” Mo says as she is looking down. Conveniently, her pants are missing. Luckily for her, the large sweatshirt she was fashionably sporting covered most of her thighs. Unluckily for me.

“I did not do that intentionally.”

“Uh huh,” she says calmly. Afterwards she shrugs her shoulders and continues to the gate in the chain link fence leading to the field.

She handles a moment that I would normally be mortified in and simply rolls with it. Yup, I might be smitten. Or full of smit. I’m not sure how this works.

I pat my front pocket and realize the other thing I left at home. “Oh, man. I left my breakfast bar at home too.”

“The goose bumps on my legs mourn your loss, Carter.” Never looking back, she begins to walk forward. I admire this girl.

As I catch up and apologize again, her smile forgives me. We make our way through the gate and it’s nearly time as we notice a large SUV making its way toward us. I’ve seen enough spy movies that this is where the thick-necked guys get out and shoves us in. I brace myself with a grin as the vehicle approaches. And the grin leaves my face as the SUV passes us.

A corresponding shrug between us both has me wondering what we should expect. As I look down again, the digital number changes from 8:44 to :45. A pssst sound comes from behind us.

Parked along the curb, a man in an older station wagon sits in the driver seat. Oh, hell no. This is not the awesome ride I was imagining. Although, how did that junker drive up on us without even knowing it?

“You two should get in so we can start.” The middle-aged man with the circular glasses, nasally tells us.

Oh, please do not be –

“I’m David Nelson. I’ll be teaching you today.”

David. This is the sensei, Jedi master we will be learning from. It looks like a powerful sneeze might take this guy out of commission. He looks like he’s both shorter, skinnier and not to mention older than I am. I was expecting some brooding unnatural-looking presence before me, with an eye patch or a scar on his face or facial hair. But no, I get nerdy David Nelson – Trainer. God, I bet he has business cards that say that too.

“I’m Carter. This is Mo.”

“I know who you are, stupid. I called you here.”

Oh, and he has a lovely bedside manner as well. “Okay, so are we hopping in your sweet ride or are we training here?”

“You don’t see me getting out, do you?”

This may possibly be the longest day of my life. Not only is this guy a gem to look at, he is a class 1 asshole as well. Mo and I start making our way around to the passenger side of the car. I reach for the handle to ride shotgun.

“Nuh uh, you’re in the backseat. The lovely lady can ride up front.” With you, Creepy McGee? I already know arguing that point will get me nowhere, but I’ll have an eye on you, buddy.

We take off down the street and David goes through parts of town I’m unfamiliar with. The wharf district once housed vast amounts of commerce that used to arrive by boat. Shipping logistics started dying out as aqueous magnetic transits (AMT’s) docked at airports. Air carriers developed AMT’s using the earth’s magnetism through water to levitate and move.

Large warehouses and empty buildings lined most of the streets. The property was still considered commercial until the city would appropriate it as residential. It was something I heard in the news, a large project to rezone the district to make affordable housing. That’s because most of the city’s vagrants and poor were squatting in the empty lots. It was also used by various gangs, crime organizations and general riff-raff to keep anyone at bay until it could be torn down and rebuilt.

Now we were having a nice mid-week morning drive through it. Lovely.

“So, we’ll be training today. Together at first then separately.”

Thank you that was a lovely detailed syllabus for today’s activities. And where are we going? If this guy was following a route it must in the shape of spaghetti in a bowl.

“Okay, change of plans. Individual training first.” Super, we must be getting close to our destination. If so, I’m not sure why he’s speeding up. “Do you remember the soccer field, Carter?”

“Yah,” we literally just came from there 15 minutes ago.

“Good, meet us there after your first lesson.” And with that, he grabs Mo by the wrist and they flash. Suddenly, I am in a car’s backseat without a driver, barreling towards a red brick building.

“Holy – ” that was the first part to the last thought I had racing through my head as I approached a wall going 50 miles per hour. From there I flashed out with enough time to spare. And no, not back to the soccer field. I had glanced at the water beyond the building and apparently my subconscious thought it was a nice landing pad.

As I swam up through the frigid cold water, I gasped for air as I recalled how to tread water. It took a few seconds to remember how to flash out of there, thinking I needed a solid surface to start from.

I went back to the building I nearly collided with moments before and saw the steam rising from the engine. The front half of the car was pushed in past the driver’s seat turning it into a snub-nosed station wagon. The car probably never looked better. It would be some small satisfaction if it was indeed David’s car. That asshole.

He nearly killed me just now. Pretty certain my mother will not be very appreciative of that. I look myself over and realize that I flashed with all my clothes intact. I’m fairly impressed with that alone. The fishy smelling water squishes around in my shoes as I walk and I notice a distinct difference. I missed a sock again. Dangit! Why just one sock?

As I furiously squish my way from the accident, a hard thing to do, I think of the spot where Mo and I arrived earlier and suddenly I was there. David and Mo were leaning against the chain link fence looking right at me as I stomped over with my most furious look of angst.

“You almost killed me, you asshole!” Granted I forgot to apply the brakes to my mouth, but it was true.

Without missing a beat, he continued on as if I didn’t say anything. “What was your first lesson?”

Mo was stifling a mad case of the giggles, which actually did upset me. If I reacted a few seconds later I would be a two-dimensional version of myself. Still, as water began chaffing my inner thighs, I wanted to know David’s logic behind everything.

“How to react when I’m in danger?” Bravo, dick.

“No, it’s don’t piss off your trainer the first day. No matter how nerdy he may look, he will still know more than you.”

My fury radically shifts into embarrassment as it is apparent David has both my ability and Mo’s wrapped into one. So, everything I was thinking to myself went out as if I said it aloud. Great move, Carter. I thought I was buffering my thoughts?

“Your buffering skills are at a Kindergarten level, Carter. We need to push you through to high school by the end of the day or else whatever tomorrow brings may get the better of you.”

“Well, I just learned them yesterday, so I guess I consider that progress.”

“Well, you are going to have a rude awakening if you find yourself in the same vicinity as anyone with your mother’s ability. They will pluck the thoughts from your head and the car incident will seem like a picnic.”

I don’t know what to think now. I want to apologize still and ask him to take it easy on me. I’m still a kid in my book and this goes beyond the scare of leaping naked into the past. This was someone coming after me for some unknown reason and it is supposed to happen in less than a day.

“Carter, by the time we’re done today, you’ll be ready to shield, defend and if necessary fight. We’ll teach you both the basics of your gift, the main ways to control it and harness it when you’re apart and how to utilize it best when you’re together.”

Something tells me that this is going to be a grueling day.

David smiles, telling me that it most certainly is. “For now, you need to clean up your mess.”

“What mess?” I’m curious.

“Your station wagon mess.”

Aw, man. How is he assuming I do that?

“Put the car where you originally landed. But get your sock out of it first.” Okay it’s cute when Mo pokes around in my brain box, it’s creepy when David does it. I think buffering needs to be the first chapter in our lessons.

“I just got out of the water. I think I have seaweed in my shorts still.”

“So, just move the car.” Oh, right. That’ll be easy. “It is easy, just think of where you want it and focus on moving it and not your body. You managed to pick up on flashing within an evening. Point-flashing shouldn’t be too hard.”

“I had Mo pumping my mom’s experience into me first.” I’m not sure I want to have her and David practice her conduit powers on me just yet.

“We’ll get to her conduit training later. For now, try it on your own and meet us back here in 15 minutes.” David walks to me hand outstretched as if to shake hands and mend our differences. As I touch palm to palm, I immediately flash to some unknown rooftop in the wharf district. I can still see the water. He did this on purpose. What a tool.

It takes me a few flash attempts to get back to the spot where I ran full speed into a building, but it was still there, steaming away like a metal accordion.

After placing my hand on the car, I tried channeling the way that David was describing. I focused on putting the car in the water. I thought about the car to the water, the car to the water. The next moment, well, something was in the water. It was me. Crapdamnit!

A few attempts later I was making progress. I moved the car itself along with me about five feet away from the building. Nearly 10 minutes have passed and I was still plodding along trying to put the car in the bay.

Finally, after a few dozen attempts, I push my frustrations out and yell within my mind at the car to just get in the damn bay! And suddenly, the car and all of its connected parts are gone and as I look out, I briefly notice it hover above the water before crashing down. I smile from ear to ear as it slowly sinks into the murky abyss.

A quick flash and under 15 minutes later, I go back to the soccer fields, accomplished.

“Got it.” I triumphantly announce. “Who’s car was that?”

“Your principal’s,” David replies.

I am not sure whether to be frightened or elated by that statement. Happiness wins over as I can’t help but smile larger.

“Hence why you needed your sock,” he states.

And my smile vanishes. I already know what he’s going to say next and I simply hang my shoulders and shuffle slowly toward them. “Aw, really?”

He nods his head slowly enough to recognize. “Unless you want them finding a clue if they discover the car. You had better retrieve it before a current pulls it out of the bay.”

Man, training sucks.

A Time to Reap

TTTG Ch. 8: In the Days When Judges Ruled…


Mom went and dropped the bomb on Mo and I in regards to taking down our school. Now, I was curious about the last part in why we needed to. I was all for not going back to school, but I had a feeling that another would simply spring up in its place.

“Why are we destroying Pemberton?”

“We are trying to understand more, but I think that they are genetically testing the kids at school. They’re offering counseling services and medications, but they’re actually harnessing different genomes and seeing how to replicate them in others.”

“So, they want to know what makes us tick so other people can do it too?”

“That’s what we’re thinking. And if they are doing that, imagine what they would do to you if they realized your family has learned to teleport or that Mo is able to read people along with using her telekinesis? Lab rats comes to mind.”

I feel like questions were the only form of communication I’ve had with my mother this past week. I should just list them out like a pop quiz and have her submit the answers to me later.

“How do you know that’s happening at my school, mom?”

“I don’t. Not concretely yet. But I think that we have a good idea where to start and how to find out more.” She redirects her motherly intensity to Mo.

“Me?!” Mo looks a few degrees hotter when she gets frazzled. And thankfully, with my mother around, I doubt she knew I was thinking that.

“You can read people, hon. You’re far more active than many others I’ve known like you and you’re still young. For whatever reason, you work better with Carter around, so with both of you helping we can know for certain.”

“Spy work?” I ask with too much enthusiasm.

“We’ll need you to get close enough to the principal to read him and dig for any clues as to what might be going on under the scenes there.”

“Does this have anything to do with my car blowing up?” Mo was not feeling the Spy Kids vibe that I was. In fact, she looked borderline to passing out.

“I think so. I can’t be sure what they pulled out of you while you were at school.” My mom had a way of ending each sentence and populating a few more questions in my collective.

“Mom, what happened to Mo in the principal’s office?” That’s a good appetizer.

“If the Deslin twins you were talking about are at all like you, they must have been probing your mind while you were there, trying to find out clues. I’m guessing that someone keeps tabs on Carter and when they saw you two together, they were curious about you finding out anything that they haven’t already. They must know your ability and tested out their theory.”

“Not to challenge you, but I don’t think that anyone like Carter or I can use our ability in the office. At least, that’s our theory.”

“Maybe it’s made from whatever Ray’s room was made from that kept me from leaping?” Brilliant connection, Carter, you are Batman, master detective.

“There’s not a material that prevents anyone from using their power, Carter James. We don’t have a Kryptonite.”

Well, boo to you too, mother. I hope my confused-brooding face asks the question so I don’t have to.

“People like us are what blocks powers from being used.”

I need to start taking notes pretty soon. “Huh?”

“There are different levels of people with abilities. We’re like athletes, there are some that prosper through lots of training and conditioning and some that have natural gifts. Everybody has a different combination. For some, they can flash better than they can leap. For Mo’s kind, some push better than they read.”

“Sly.” Mo corrects. I chuckle to myself without letting anything escape.

“What’s that?”

“We call it sly instead of read. Just thought I would … well, let you know. Okay, I’ll be quiet now.” She makes her lips disappear inwardly in an attempt to apologize.

“Well, thank you. As I was saying, some have different combinations and can use more than one ability with practice. One of the abilities that you will need to learn soon, both of you, is buffering. It’s where you can block out another person’s ability that is close to you. For unsuspecting people, like you two, it just feels like nothing is happening.”

“So, Ray buffered me from leaping when he was holding me captive the other day?”

“He did. Also said it was hard to stop you initially. Not an easy feat.”

“Ray? Like Lord Ray?!” Mo’s panic level is rising again.

“Yes, hon. Raymond Lord is helping us.”

The nagging thought of something started to reoccur to me. My initial introductions were through notes stating a countdown that was taking place. Crap, now I had to do math. Accounting for the days I was out, assuming that my note was working off the main timeline and not my own, I had until Thursday morning before my time was up.

“Mom, quick sidebar, what was Lord Ray’s countdown referring to?”

Her face seemed to pinch in despair. “Ray had a cousin that was a few years younger than you. He trained him constantly and diligently since he was just a boy. He was very powerful and one day he leapt. The only thing is that he leapt into the near future, not the past.”

“Bullshit,” I scoff before realizing that I swore in front of my mother. She gives me a laser-beam stare of disapproval then retorts.

“He did apparently. And he landed in the midst of a detainment, your detainment. He didn’t get much from it the first time he went, only who you were and why you were picked up. He went back a second time on purpose to the date that you leapt from, which is this week apparently. Whatever the case is, he saw it happen and ever since, Ray has been trying to leave you clues.”

“Mom, people can’t leap forward except when they go back first. They can’t leap forward then back…can they?” I wasn’t sure of much any longer.

“People can’t leap past their own timeline either, but you do. Constantly.”

Why didn’t I get the handbook for this disease of mine. Wait… “Dr. Phillips knows that I go back further than my timeline. Why hasn’t he said or done anything?”

“He has. He monitors you. He wants to know how far you can go and I’m willing to bet the moment you pose a threat, we’ll all know about it.”

“What is Ray getting out of this?”

“Resolve. His cousin died on his return trip. Apparently going forward is more taxing than staying behind for months at a time. He went into cardiac arrest and since they can’t be seen or caught in public, he watched him die. He wants atonement for that.”

Mo has been speechless for some time now. As I look over, the stun on her face depicts pretty much everything I would imagine on my own. A level of confusion twisted into a need to slow down was splattered across her features.

I reached for her hand to comfort her and let her know that she wasn’t alone. With great minds thinking alike, my mom reached in the same gesture. As we connected the three of us together, all of our thoughts were thrown into the same stew pot. Suddenly, I was seeing my mother’s memories and thoughts as if they were my own. Along with it, Mo had no need to speak inside of my mind as we were sharing the same thoughts. If there was an outline of Mo, my mother and me, it was like the silhouettes were all placed on top of each other for a span of time. It was unclear how long until we finally separated again.

“Rubber-chicken-Christ… whaaheaaa?” My last word was supposed to be “what,” but it trailed off in a manner of how air escapes a flattening tire. It was like,.

My mother even looked as though she had just gotten goosed by a cattle prod. As I looked at the clock, I realized I hadn’t really paid attention to the time beforehand. Although, I was certain that it was not as close to 8:00 as it was. By the look of it, we had been holding hands around the table for a couple of hours, which would explain the shelf I had for a set of butt cheeks at the moment.

“Mo, how did you do that?” My mom beat me to it this time.

She shook her head and continued to look blankly at nothing ahead of her. After our experience, we all shared a little something with each other. It was like we compressed our experiences and our knowledge down into little pills that we each ingested in order to expand in our own selves again.

Deeply, Mo already knew I was having feelings for her. And likewise, I now knew that she was holding on to some of the very same. An additional fun fact, she had a dirtier mind then I did. A not so fun fact, now my mother knew that too. Ick.

“Well,” I start off again, “that was a little more than oversharing in my book.”

“I think I know why people might have wanted to silence you in a car explosion, Mo.” Well, mother, we are definitely all ears now. “You’re a conduit.”

That sounds terrifyingly wonderful, like you are the chosen one. Not scary to a teenage girl at all.

“What’s that?” Mo asks.

“It’s another level of your ability. You can channel two people’s thoughts, knowledge, power or whatever between them. You act as the go-between for regulating what gets transferred.”

“Bang up job there,” I jest. The backhanded slap to my arm tells me that despite the post-traumatic event, she was in good spirits too.

“She shouldn’t have that ability yet. Not without a lot of training and at least knowing how to buffer first.” The silence followed by my mother’s passionate stare into what could only be my nougat-filled center has me wondering what she’s thinking.


“It’s you, Carter. You amplify her and vice versa. You’re what our circle calls Gemini. It’s like those Deslin twins, apart they don’t exhibit much, but together they are very strong. The same is with you two.”

Somehow, this makes sense to me and as I look at Mo, she seems to feel it too. We both look down at our hands as if something is written on them saying UPGRADE in big letters. Nothing is there, obviously.

“If you two are Gemini, we need to get you into training tomorrow. I can call into school for you and well, Mo, … play dead a little while longer.”

“I thought you were going to train me?” I hope that didn’t spill out as whinny as I think it did.

“I have to keep up the appearance at work. For you, I can have a viable excuse; for me, saying my kiddo is tired and I have to watch over him is not going to fly. Plus, I have the best person to help you both.”

“Ray?” I say with a little condescension.

“No, Ray is not a trainer. Ray is like the top-ranking soldier in the field. You’ll be training with David.”

I wonder how many underground people there were out there. Also, if this guy trained leapers, how would he help Mo? “What about Mo?”

“He can train her too.”


Her smile was followed by, “I’ll let him explain all of that to you tomorrow.”

Super, I love cliffhangers. But before she cuts off this part of the story, I am struck with the nagging wonder how much my mom remembered from our conduit time. “Mom, when we were all mind-melding or whatever you want to call it, what could you pick up on?”

Her cat-like smile said something already. “All I know is that you both better keep to your rooms tonight.” As she pushes away from the table to look for dinner to cook, I am left with the next biggest problem: looking at Mo to see if she knew that I knew.

“Carter, listen…whatever you saw in there – ”

I knew it! “Oh, you did think that didn’t you?” I coyly poke at her. “Doesn’t feel too good when someone is able to romper-stomp around in your private thoughts, huh?”

Her cheeks turn a few shades of pink along with her ears. I decide to poke the bear while it’s behind a cage a little more.

“Maybe you’d like to explain to me a little more about your thoughts from the backyard and something about rinsing off with the garden hose.” I say in a not-so-silent whisper.

As Mo looks to see if my mother heard her, when she gazed back that was the last thoughts I had about teasing her. I remember her loudly shushing me and then my chair elevating a few feet off the ground with me still in it.


Her raised eyebrows daring me to mess with her again were the last things I caught before my mother turned and once again buffered Mo. My chair landed with a hard, flat smack to the floor. Likewise, I think my spinal column went into my brain making me a good inch shorter.

“Not at the table, you two.” Like a true parent, judge and jury in one.

A Time to Reap

TTTG CH. 7: After the Death of Joshua


The abrupt departure of my mother left Mo and I standing and debating the mind-reader scenario for a while. After a stalemate of ideas, we moved on to the possible scenarios of who would want to kill Mo and why.

Our suspect list included the Deslin twins and possibly faculty at our school. The list was not impressive by any means and the only reason we crossed off accident was the notion that someone was preventing Mo from escaping.

The next step was figuring out why. By all accounts, Mo was a wallflower in the school. Her only notoriety came from her nickname that she received years ago. Even then, the shock and awe only lasted a week until the next kid with an ability had a tantrum causing his powers to activate.

Mo was sweet and I had a hard time believing that anyone would have a grudge against her personally. The next thing in my paranoid mind is thinking that I contributed to it in some way.

We had met that day, officially, and by the end of it, Mo was nearly blown to pieces. That caused me to retrace our steps and come to the only conclusion that something else happened in the principal’s office. My mother even posed the question. Despite how she can pester and irritate me at times, she is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known.

“Mo, did you feel anything happening while you were waiting in the principal’s office?”

She contemplated it for a bit, then came back with, “No. Nothing really.” And as her statement exited and hung in the air, a realization flashed before her. “Actually, there was nothing at all. It was like when your mom was around. All of the static subsides and I am left in a bubble.”

I wonder if it is true then? “Have you heard the stories about the principal’s office being a place where no one like us can use our abilities?”

“I think I’ve heard of some people mentioning it. They had a name for it, but I don’t remember it completely.”

“A guy in one of my classes got called there because he got into a scuffle with another kid at lunch a couple of years ago. The other kid was an Eventual and when he pushed him, he flew about 20 feet back instead of being thrown off balance.”

“Was that Jacob Wells?” Even the way she asks questions at times is cute. She has this little curl to her lip when she’s close to smiling.

Focus. “Ya, I can’t remember the other kids name, Kenny something. I think he moved the next year. But he said that while they were waiting outside the principal’s office, the kid was still mad. Said he tried to ‘do something’ and then looked strangely confused. He thought he was trying to push him from across the hall and couldn’t.”

“Marco,” she wildly interjects.


“Sorry, Kenny Marco, his name just popped into my head. He was more public with his pushes than any Eventual I knew besides the Deslins. After he went to the office that day, he never pushed again. We took note from him that exhibiting our full abilities would get us in trouble.”

We both sat quietly while we took that last sentence in.

“Man, I can’t remember what they called that area around the principal’s office.”

As we both dug deeply into our memory, I think that I helped her jog her own. In unison, we both called it out together, “the Shade.”

“That was it. Thanks, Carter. I might have gone a little batty if I hadn’t figured that out soon.” She laughed. It was a dry courtesy laugh, but it was still charming and airy. It didn’t sound forced, just a lighter version of what her smile radiated.

Even after coming to conclusions, we still had no way of understanding how, why or for what reason Mo’s car caught fire. Rather than expand our already stretched brain cells, we both thought it was a better idea to wait for my mom and get her help on the matter.

I started making my way to the stairs in order to show Mo to her room for at least the evening. On the way up the stairs I take note to a picture on our family wall in particular; the one with my mom, my dad and I. I pass by and try not to let the questions start flooding in.

A few steps up, I sense that Mo’s footsteps are no longer following and as I turn around I see that she is analyzing the picture of my family.

“What were you looking for in this one, just now?”

“It’s a picture of my family before my dad walked out on us.”

She looked the photo over like it was a picture she had seen a copy of before, except now she was picking out the things that were missing.

“There was something else to it. You were thinking beyond him walking out. What was it?”

This is different. Usually, as far as our usual went, Mo was deeply inside my thoughts and knew things before I could form the words. “I found out recently that he was like me, a leaper.”

“Wow. Two leapers having a kid together. Did anyone in the DCD know?”

It was a good question. The Department of Chronological Displacement would be very curious on the offspring of two leapers, or whatever my mom was. Maybe that’s why he left? This past week has been beyond confusing and in between adrenaline rushes, I would love nothing more than a nap. And I friggin hate naps.

“I don’t think so. I haven’t had the time or brainpower to ask my mom any questions yet.” I keep making my way up the stairs and hear Mo start following me again.

As I get to the first room on my left, I mention how it was mine. I’d show her later, but for now I move down and to the end of the hall on the left, across from my mother’s. I open it and as we move in, the sensor light activates the crown molding lights around the room. I pull on the chain above hanging off of the fan/light combo and the remainder of the room illuminates.

“This is your room for as long as you need.” I point to the door in the corner and mention that it leads to the adjoining master bathroom. Suddenly I have a flash in my mind of Mo needing to shower and well, my thoughts went a little to R rated before I knew how to wrangle them back.

“Oh my God, I’m sorry, Mo.” I could feel the heat flushing parts of my body and the need to dig a hole in the back yard and put my head in it.

“What are you sorry for?” Odd. That thought was pretty clear. I mentally push the thought, I’m sorry for what I was thinking just now.

Her expression was muddled. “I can’t pick up on you as well right now. What were you thinking?”

“Are you okay?” Suddenly I wonder if my mom has anything to do with this. There are definite trust issues I need to work through with her.

“I’m fine, just tired. Honestly, listening to your thoughts for hours today has made me extremely sleepy. That on top of the adrenaline crash after nearly being incinerated makes it difficult to pick up on your thoughts. But, that’s probably okay. You don’t want me in there 24/7.” She says while winking at me.

It’s been a day, but I already want her to be a part of my life a little too much. I need to use this down time of hers to compose myself and get to know more about her.

“I know it’s pretty early, but I might lay down for a quick nap. Is that okay?”

Well, screw Plan A. “Sure, that’s fine. There should be sheets on the bed. I’ll get a toothbrush and towel ready for you in the meantime. I’ll wake you in a bit for dinner?”

She nods her peach-fuzzed head up and down. I smile at how she has changed into so many different ways today from wallflower to friendly to intriguing and sensual and now to completely adorable. I walk out and slowly close the door behind me, hoping she’ll ask me to stay longer.

Alas, I am off to the pantry to see what we have to eat. I get just inside the kitchen when I hear my mother’s car pulling into the driveway. I look at the hovering digital readout on the clock above the sink and realize that it is 5:18. Mom must have gotten off work a little early to make it home at this speed.

The locks on the house deactivate as she approaches the door off the kitchen that leads to the garage and backyard. As she walks in, her eyes hold every expression bundled into one, a rainbow of emotions in her gaze.

“Are you okay?” she asks.

I scrunch my face into the best question mark I know and reply unsure, “yes?”

“Carter, seriously. I know it hasn’t been easy over the last week for you. Today was a close call and I want to know if you’re okay.”

“I know, mom. I can’t say it’s been a piece of cake, but I’m holding it together.” I was, actually. I’m not entirely sure how, maybe in my continual time leaping and facing imminent danger eased the sharpness of any peril.

“I want to talk with you both about today. Where is your friend, Mo?”

“She was pretty tired. She’s up in the guest room taking a nap.”

“She’s cute.”

“Mom.” Oh Lord, please strike my mother mute on this subject before she starts.

“What? Even the whole bald head thing, she’s pretty.”

“Okay,” I say while moving toward the fridge in order to decide on dinner.

“Do you like her?”

Lord, pretty please? “Are we really doing this?”

“Can’t your mother be curious?”

“Curious, yes. But can we not be curious while in the same house as your curiosity? On top of the fact that she can read minds to boot.”

The rarest smile started curving its way around my mom’s face. If there was a thing behind me getting ready to surprise me, that would describe her smile. “Oh really?” she replies.

“What is it that you know that I don’t?”

“I would imagine a lot, Carter.”

Wise ass. Oh, crap. Can my mom read minds? Her expression of mood didn’t even flinch just now. Maybe she was an award winning actress to boot?

“Carter, if you try and over think this too much, you’re going to burst a blood vessel.” I think she just chuckled at my expense. Am I over thinking it? Did she just know I was over thinking it? I’m doing it right now…crap.

“So, why did Mo go blank around you? She said that you must be like her.” Hmm, and if my mom is like Mo, perhaps I have the capability as well. Ooo, this could get good.

“I’m not a reader, hon. Or Eventual as you kids call it. I am exactly what you can be. Time travel was the first symptom. Disappearing from time and reappearing later. Your grandpa was one of the firsts. Thanks to your grandma, she prepared me at an early age for what might come. With that, I was able to survive and eventually I learned that it could be controlled.”

The floorboards squeaked ever so slightly behind us. We both knew it meant someone was entering the kitchen. Older houses have the distinctive areas where a person growing up knew where to step to elicit a noise. We both turned to see Mo standing there, looking apologetic for interrupting.

“It’s okay, hon. Come in and join us. You should hear this too.”

She took mouse like steps, cautiously approaching my mother, trying to figure if she was a friend or foe. She settled at the end of the table between my mother and I.

“As I was saying, I learned to control leaping by choosing when and where. It took the better part of a decade. Then the government found out about people with our varying conditions. Volunteers were called for and at the time I was struggling for money and wanting to go to college.”

“Didn’t you meet dad in college?”

She smiled, recalling her first moments of meeting him, I suppose. “I did. He was a couple of years older and just finishing his degree. I didn’t realize he was a leaper like me until we dated for a few months.”

It never occurred to me how you break the news to someone from back then. Either shock or making them try to believe you were the two options beyond lying.

“He was walking with me one day and I stated that I had to stop into Simon Hall for something in order to help me with my financial aid. He wasn’t stupid. He knew about the tests and government helping to study the condition and he knew that normal financial aid was on the other side of campus. Later that night, he showed me that he was just like me and how I could go further than simply time traveling at a whim.”

Right, because time travel isn’t cool enough, there had to be more to it.

“Your father taught me how to harness time travel down to a focal point in order to teleport. It was like taking a wide angle lens down to a microscopic view. That took me another year to figure out altogether.”

The itchy question in my mind spilled out, “So, why didn’t dad register himself?”

A slightly less enthusiastic smile replaced the previous one on my mom’s face. “He didn’t trust the government’s intentions with their research. He said that it would inevitably lead to either a war or genocide. So, he felt that staying off their radar was best. Soon after their research was completed, the Pemberton School was founded and accepted kids who had been touched or possessed the ability they had seen.”

“I thought the school had been in place longer than a couple of decades?” Mo interjected into the conversation.

“It was previously a private reform school, so in a sense it had been there helping children who needed help. It was purchased and converted quite rapidly in order to start accepting applicants immediately. I think it was more to keep ‘special’ kids out of the public and restrict their abilities while simultaneously continuing their research under the guise of education.”

And now I really didn’t want to go back to school. Not that I wanted to any given day.

“Why did dad leave?”

The question punched my mother directly in the heart and I could see it reflected in the sadness she held back in her eyes. “I don’t think he felt there was a choice. After you were born, we both knew that it was only a matter of time before you started showing your ability. Luckily, that didn’t come until you were 12. After you leapt for your first time, no matter how prepared we made you, it was still the most frightening moment of my life. I wondered for a full hour if you were going to make it back. Even through your excitement on returning, I could barely hold back sobbing.”

I didn’t even remember my mom crying. I remember coming back the first leap and feeling like I was a super hero. I was so excited and after my dad wrapped a blanket around me and hugged me tighter than ever, I simply couldn’t recall anything else.

“Your father didn’t mention anything to me. He packed a bag the next day and just left. No note, no goodbye, no reason. He just left his life. He died for me that day, with no body or grave I could mourn. I was left with memories and questions and you. I had to report your leap and let you know that your father left the next day. It was one of the worst years of my life.”

I felt bad for asking now. I should have just left that in the past. I only remember my mom speaking highly of him up to that day. He simply left and never turned around. I blamed myself and now I am pretty sure that I was the reason.

Both Mo and my mother are harboring tears on the brink of falling.

“After your father left, I had no need to explain that he had the same condition as both of us. We had hidden it from the government for so long and from you that it seemed to prove little use. Then when you leapt back the other night saying that you ran across people who knew your father, I knew that our time to act was closing in.”

“Act on what exactly?” What is it with conspiracy talk that it always has to be vague and drawn out?

“We have to find a way to destroy the Pemberton School before they turn on the kids there.”

Well, how can I not want to help now?


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A Time to Reap

TTTG Ch. 6: After the Death of Mo…


I admit it; I was embarrassed in this specific instance. So much, I refused to let go of Mo until she swore she would not open her eyes, even a crack. I think she was starting to think I was some kind of pervert until she listened to the ruckus of embarrassing thoughts catapulting in my noggin like an Olympic gymnast.

After I released my bear hug and did a few test waves in front of her closed eyes, I started to make my way off the grass. Blades were stuck to my cheeks and I sincerely debated brushing them off before making my way to the garage, thinking of all of the other potentially scarring scenarios.

A giggle from behind causes me to turn around and double-check the trustworthiness of Mo’s promise. She sat on the grass, smile screwed in as tightly as her closed eyelids.

The ability Mo possessed answered before I had to ask, “I’m not laughing because I’m peeking at you or anything. I’m laughing because you think I might not realize…”

“Hey!” I interrupt before she has to actually vocalize the words. “It is cold out here and physics plays a factor.” I don’t even bother explaining myself anymore as I turn and walk to the garage. I had a change of clothes in various spots around my house for certain cases. My sweats, shoes, socks and a shirt were just inside the door.

Again a giggle from behind; this time I chose the high-ground and ignored it.

“Nice grass, Carter.”

That little so and so… I would turn, but I already know she’s stopped playing the “no looking” game now. I mentally throw a few choice thoughts her direction and I think she started laughing harder.

 A few minutes later I emerge from the garage, slightly warmer and definitely less breezy. Mo is still smiling and on her way to another giggle-fit. In order to bypass that and get to an actual serious matter, I start asking while I walk towards her.

“Mo, what happened in the parking lot?”

Her affable nature subsided to a small ripple in a pond. The wave of turmoil and questions approached behind her. Her expression said it all. She was uncertain what caused the fire but fretful that might be intentional.


“Yah, sorry. It just all happened so quickly. One second I smelled something hot, then there was smoke in the car, then I thought I was going to choke before I could even scream. Then we showed up here.”

My inquisitive nature has about a dozen questions lined up, but I want to pick the best ones first so the little ones can be let go if needed.

“Were your doors locked?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did you hear any thoughts of anyone close by?”

“Carter, I don’t know.”

“Well, what about –”

Carter!” This time she was answering me inside my own head. Cool, yes; a little disconcerting, also yes. “Your thoughts are coming more rapidly than your words. It’s hard to concentrate.

“Sorry,” I mention aloud. “Sorry,” I say in my thoughts as well.

She smiles and something about it melts the ice inside of me into little gelatinous pools of teenage drama shows. Suddenly, I feel cheesy and don’t even care. People who don’t get to experience this don’t know what they’re missing.

“Thinking back,” she interrupts, “I tried the handle, but it wasn’t that it was locked. It was that I couldn’t remember how to open it.”

I couldn’t help but let a macabre chuckle slip by as I cleared my throat to repeat, “So, you forgot how to open a car door?”

“Laugh all you want, Carter James DeTamble.” Whoa! Using the triple name threat was reserved to my mother. I didn’t want to be wondering how many directions that nonsense could come from. And as she already knew, she raises her eyebrows at me as if to speak to the notion she knows all about me.

“Funny, but seriously, you forgot how to open a door in the panic of it all?”

“No, my brain knew how to open it. I just couldn’t relate the information to my hands; they were the ones that forgot.”

“I’m confused.” And I was. Out of all the things I could fathom, I couldn’t wrap my head around this instance.

“Carter, someone like me was there and forcing my thoughts from escaping. They were paralyzing me.”

Okay, new wrinkle. “Are you sure?”

“I know what it feels like to push a thought out for somebody to do something. It isn’t hard to imagine what it would feel like from the other end. I think they would have made sure I’d forget everything in total if they thought I had a chance at making it out alive.”

My mind raced at (cheetah x road runner)ostrich speed. So much, I think Mo abandoned trying to keep up as she started to squint in a nauseous pain and hold her temples.

“You okay?”

She nodded, “Yah. You’re just thinking way too fast to keep up.”

I slow down my thoughts and narrow in on the events of the day. Mo greets me, we share the mental get to know you moments, she understands I know a teleporter and now I know she can sly into my thoughts and possibly others better than any Eventual I heard of before, then lunch followed by the parking lot. I shake my head thinking where we might have gone wrong in that small amount of time.

“Did you mention what you picked up on me to anyone?”

“Please, Carter. I don’t have friends at this school or outside of it.”

Her mind wandered off as she mentally retraced her own steps. A squirm in her expression was followed by her erasing it from her thoughts completely.

“What was that?”


“The thing you were contemplating then disregarded.”

“Are you a mind-reader, Carter?” she asked while poking a little fun at me.

“Seriously, what was it?” I haven’t approached the stomping of the feet stage yet, but I knew I was getting whinny with my prodding.

“It was just a silly thought really.” I pause and stare blankly showing I won’t give up until she tells me. “I got called to the principal’s office.”

I recalled being slightly alarmed when I heard and confirmed she was being called there. It was a point I was meeting her in the parking lot for after school, well one of the points.

“Yah, what happened there?” In my head I’m thinking an intense grilling under a singular bulb in a dark room. Or overbearing tones mixed with threats of detention or suspension.

“You weirdo, it was a mistake.”

“Huh?” Well, there went that idea.

“I sat there for like 20 minutes waiting. The secretary came back and said there was some mix up calling me down and I was free to return to class.”

“Oh…” My mind searched for a place to stand my ground, but I was on the side of a sand dune and slipping with each possible thought. Finally, I gave up. I shrugged my shoulders signifying as much.

Neither of us had any other notions to contribute as we sat in silent contemplation for a few minutes.

“Want something to drink?” It was my humble way of asking her to stay a little longer as well as getting myself a little warmer. Without a jacket, the fall weather gets nippy.

Her smile said it all. She just reached her hands toward me to help her off of my backyard. I hoist her up and her smell washes over me, along with the faint whiff of smoke from her burning car. It was lovely and I wanted to kiss her right then and there, but luckily she played the cool card and squeezed my hand in a gentle way, but very present.

As she walked up the steps, I made certain not to allow my eyes or mind wander anywhere that she could pick up on. And suddenly, I am seeing the difficulties ahead if I actually dated Mo. I’d be on guard 24/7 around her.

“Carter,” my mind stops dead in its tracks along with my feet.


She turns in front of the door and the look in her eyes melted me on contact. It reminded me of another classic movie my mother and I watched, Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the end, a guy pretty much melts where he stands, except in my version it is much more cartoon-like and not as horrific.

“Thank you for saving me,” she leans to me and stands on her tiptoes to reach my mouth with hers. A soft and supple kiss graces my lips just briefly enough to be passionate and not long enough to be anything much more than courteous.

It was hands down the best moment of my life to date.

Mo turns and punches in the door code to unlock the house and before I ask, I already know that my mind was a toy bin she could play around in for information. Her getting my house code as I stood there like a drunken fool was probably child’s play.

I follow behind her, not certain what to follow that up with except, “You’re welcome.”

“I should probably call my caregiver and let them know I’m okay. They’re probably freaking out.”

As Mo starts making her way to the phone in the other room off our kitchen, I begin wondering the main problem and soon I voice it, “Mo, what are we going to tell anyone?”

She stops in the doorway leading to the living room, but not because of what I said. She moves backward in cautious steps. As I hear the light footsteps pushing her away.

“Yes, please explain what you are going to say to anyone. Either of you.”

Crap sandwiches! “Hi, mom.”

“I swear you have the uncanny knack of attracting trouble like bees to a flower. First day back at school and you not only figure out how to utilize a dormant power, but you get involved with an exploding car as well.”

“My car exploded?!” Thank you, secretly, for drawing some attention off of me, Mo.

My mother turns her Medusa gaze on Mo and with as little acknowledgement as possible, she replies. “Yah.” And suddenly that diversion lasted only a few seconds as Mo has no come back and simply accepts the fact.

“I wasn’t trying to use anything, mom. I saw Mo in trouble and simply wished I could help, the next minute I’m in the car and then I wanted us safe and here we landed.” Some part of me forgot to at least introduce the girl I saved and brought into our home and life. “Oh, Mo, this is my mother. Mom, this is my friend from school, Mo.”

Without turning to look at her, my mom’s sight is anchored to me, she at least acknowledges her presence, “It’s a pleasure, dear.”

Mo acts like she wants to explain herself but simply replies, “likewise, Mrs. DeTamble.”

I look at her with the expression of “what the hell was that” written on my face. She nervously shakes her head while twitching her shoulders in a “what should I have said” response. All the while, mom is deeply involved in a stare-down with my soul.

“I’ll assume that in your inexperience, you flashed back here minus your clothing?”

Sudden shame and slight embarrassment redden my cheeks. Frustration soon takes over and shifts my emotional drive into anger. “What the hell was I supposed to do, let her die?”

The silence makes me wonder what her answer is to be.

“No, of course not, but you have a lot of clean up when you do things like that. Flashing needs to be done in private and when you’re ready, otherwise you are putting more people in danger than just those you know. You put anyone in danger that saw you.”

After that, a glimmer formed around the aura of my mother and in a blink, she was gone. Mo and I stood and half-wondered for a second if that actually happened. A few moments passed before Mo spoke.

“Holy crap, that was awesome!”

I can only smile and nod. “So, flashing must be teleporter slang for, well, teleporting I guess. I wonder where she went.”

I no more than get the words from my lips than I see a glimmer to the side and my mom standing there as if she never left. Only this time, she was holding a backpack and a wad of clothes. My clothes.

“If someone were to have found these, Carter, you have no idea the kind of trouble we would be in. It wouldn’t take long for them to figure out someone leapt, but they would piece things together over time and realize your friend disappearing and you leaping actually had something in common.”

I understand where she’s going with her chastising. I need to start practicing and perfecting this skill I obviously have.

“Was there anyone at school you spoke with recently concerning your ability or Carter’s?” Mom had now turned her attention to Mo.

“Carter just asked me that. I only met and started speaking to him today. The only other thing was a mistaken call into the principal’s office. But I didn’t even meet with anyone there.”

Mom’s focus narrowed and it was evident in her eyes. “Who else was waiting in there with you?”

Mo concentrated and at first shook her head as if she were alone, then she put up one finger as if she were telling someone to wait while she finished a call. “The Deslin twins were there too. They were waiting to see the principal.”

Ugh, the Deslin twins. Ronnie and Wiley Deslin were a couple of Eventuals that truly defined the term creepy and misfit. Ronnie was the tall one, standing about 6’3” and partially albino. His complexion was white as 2% milk and he shaved his head like a cue ball. The only true color to him was a pair of deep blue eyes, which offset due to his pale skin, making them shine like a beacon in a lighthouse. If it weren’t for his behavior, I think girls my age would swoon to him despite his skin tone for his eyes alone.

Wiley Deslin was the opposite. He was shorter by almost a foot and had long, managed raven-black hair. His eyes were nearly as dark. The hair on his head was about the only redeemable feature worth mentioning, everything else was bordering the ugly zone. Looking at them side by side, you’d have no idea of relation, let alone being twins. It was like setting an angel next to a gargoyle.

Wiley did most of the talking and plotting while Ronnie carried out most of the actions. Their gifts when apart from each other are fairly inconsequential, but when they are close to one another, they have a way of using telekinesis to the highest abilities.

They once incited a food fight in the cafeteria, which was all fun and teenager-like until they began throwing forks around using their gift. A few kids wound up in the nurses office needing plastic utensils removed as they were sticking out of their arms or legs. The Deslin’s were suspended for a couple months on that offense.

Since then, they have behaved much better, if better meant causing kids to trip over their feet or slip on imaginary ice. They were responsible for most trips to the nurse at our school, but no one could prove that. They were separated from having classes together, but God help those that have to share lunch with them.

“Are they like you, dear?” My mom asks with sugar stirred into her words.

“Yah, they don’t use their minds as much for reading as they do for pushing.”

“Well, hon, you are going to have to play dead for a while. You okay with that?” It was not much in terms of a question as it was a masked order.

Mo shook her head, understanding there was a good reason behind it.

“I don’t know why,” she was addressing me again, “but it might have been a prank or an order. I can’t look into it right now. My work thinks I’m in the bathroom and I have to get back before people start wondering. Until we know for sure and while they sift through the ashes and debris, Mo should stay here. If it turns out an accident or some school punks, we’ll handle it differently.”

I look to Mo to try and gauge if she is okay with that. She seems frightened but adherent. I nod and let my mom know we are on board. The curiosity on my part was wondering how my mom knew about it so soon.

“How did you know to come here?”

“Lord Ray has a friend looking out for you. When he said he saw you flash in the parking lot and moments later, a car exploded, I put a few notions together. I figured if you did flash, you’d go where you felt safe, home. When I saw the young woman in my doorway, I was certain.”

Great, now I have a babysitter.

“I’ll be home late. Set up the guest room next to mine for your friend. Don’t go outside, answer the door or alert anyone to her being alive let alone at our house.” And as a combo punch to add embarrassment, she smiles at me while motioning to Mo and says, “Behave.” With a wink, she flashes out of the kitchen and I am left to mend the awkward conversation left in triage.

“So… Guess we should work on getting you settled in?” I had no clue how to break the ice after someone was told to play dead and not freak out that someone tried to kill them, possibly.

I expected tears or sobs or something in that category, but Mo stood there as if she had been told that her online purchase was back-ordered. She is one tough chick on the outside as far as I can tell.

“Carter, you know how I mentioned I can pick up on you better than anyone?”

“Yah, and everyone else is pretty much static.”

“Well, your mom isn’t like that.”

Curiosity peak approaching. “You can read my mother?” She will definitely need to be my best friend if not girlfriend after this. I would have total access to parental thought.


Drat! Foiled again.

“Carter,” she mentions abruptly, ruining the fun monologue I was starting in my head. “She’s totally blank. No static, no thoughts, nothing.”

I guess I don’t understand the direction this conversation is pointing. “So?”

“So, when she’s around, I can’t hear you either.”

Well, that may be a weird bonus too. Not sure what it all means yet. “So, she acts as a buffer to your ability?”

“No. I think she is intentionally blocking me. Carter, I think your mother is like me as much as she is like you.”

Crapdamnit! That would figure in some way. “She’s a leaper, a flasher and an Eventual all wrapped in one?” I state it as a question left for some narrator to explain to us but nothing follows. Just a simple end to a chapter that leaves a cliffhanger to be explained.

The oddity of my mother continues.